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  • Frederic Peyrot

Acronyms

We use acronyms because we didn’t have a word for what we wanted to express. In this sense, acronyms are useful because they become that new word we didn’t have.


But they can only reach the status of “word” when they have wide acceptance. Until then, they are just a cryptic combination of letters that most people won’t understand.


Words like Wifi, PhD, or USA don’t need an explanation. They have become words.

But most acronyms don’t fall into this category.


In business, people often use acronyms to broadcast their expertise (or lack thereof) and to keep a distance with their audience (avoiding being embarrassed by questions they cannot necessarily answer).


But if you care about your audience and being understood, then don’t use acronyms.

They are confusing. They interrupt your story. And they definitely prevent you from making a strong point.


However, if your goal is to appear like an expert and keep away any opposition because your point is weak, then by all means, use many acronyms. As Harry S. Truman said “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”


acronyms

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