This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

July 27, 2013

Why you should avoid abbreviations

As a graphic designer, I have always disliked abbreviations. If you're going to the trouble of designing something that looks nice, there is really no value in abbreviating. I remember one of my first managers impressed upon me the beauty of writing out "Los Angeles, California" instead of "LA, CA".

And as someone who prides himself on good communication (I am a teacher, after all, so I try!) abbreviations are essentially a road block for understanding. If I'm too lazy to write Los Angeles, you have to figure out, from context, if am I referring to Los Angeles or Lousiana? LA? Lost article? Late again?

But if you use a lot of abbreviations, I guess I can't blame you. Especially if you are trying to write something on a teeny-tiny keyboard, using your thumbs. I'm sure that future generations will giggle at pictures of people trying to see things on a tiny screen the same way that we find it funny to see people in the 1950s watching TVs on those tiny screens.

I conduct business mostly using email. And I write in full sentences. And because of that, I have resisted the temptation to try to use a phone or a tablet for that purpose. Watching people do that, which to me looks like they are trying to write the entire Bible on the head of a pin, just gives me a pain. Those devices are great for what I call "monkey chatter", which we all do, like "what's up?", "I'm on my way!" My phone has those phrases built in, and I use them a lot.

I just invested in a Chromebook. To me, it's just a tool that will help me communicate, in full sentences, with my clients using email when I am away from my main computer. It has a real, human-sized keyboard. The screen, although not as large as this monster I am typing on now, is considerably bigger than any phone, and even tablets.

And there you go. If you would like to join me, all you have to do is to write in full sentences. You don't necessarily have to join TSFTEOUA (The Society for the Elimination of Useless Abbrevations), but that would be nice.

For what it's worth, in my humble opinion, that's how I feel.

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