Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Acronyms Make Me Acrimonious

© Stan Spire 2009

API. What’s that?

I’m reading an online article that doesn’t spell out the term. Time to Google. Is it Associated Press International? Nope, not in the context of the article. Academic Performance Index? American Petroleum Institute? Academic Programs International? No, they don’t fit. Auntie Pollyanna’s Indigestion? Wait, here we go: Application Programming Interface. Now I can read up about it.

Another online article. SEO. Has something to do with search engines but what does the O mean? Google reveals it means Search Engine Optimization (or Optimizer).

OK, a minor point. But shouldn’t acronyms be spelled out in every article or post, especially if there a few ways they can be formed? The full name or title doesn’t take up that much room, does it?

Over at Common Sense Journalism Doug Fisher has an article about The SEC's new media (and new-media) rules. So what SEC is he talking about? Obviously not the Securities and Exchange Commission, unless it’s gotten into sports.

At least SEC wasn’t too bad Googling. If I was on the ball, I should’ve clicked on the link to the news article in the post and found out it stood for Southeastern Conference, but I read over the link the first time while searching for SEC to be spelled out. Then again, why should I click to get a bit of info that should be in the post? I’m not familiar with the SEC abbreviation because I’m not into professional sports tribalism.

I’m getting severe strain in my index finger with this plethora of unneeded clicking. And that makes me grumpier.

What does the AP Stylebook say about this? And for that matter, the API Stylebook? (Which API do I mean? You can figure it out…)

Stan Spire, HLMWR

FINAL SHOT: In the same post Doug Fischer writes about a DVD called “The Paper” that deals with a college student getting in trouble for doing a sports story on her own without proper clearance from SID’s office. The Doug mentions something about being in deference to SID.

OK, who’s this SID guy? He deserves deference because he spells in first name all in caps?

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