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Monday, March 22, 2010

Acronyms need a SWAT

Consider the acronym SWAT. It could, of course, mean Special Weapons And Tactics, or, it could be one version of the marketing assessment, Strengths Weakness Advantages and Threats. But it could also mean Sisters With a Throttle to a motorcycle enthusiast or Sick Wild and Twisted to a hip-hop music lover. Talk about confusing.

Not only are acronyms annoying, as though the speaker doesn’t want you to be part of his little club of people who know what the heck he’s talking about. But they make it impossible to get your point across because no one can follow you.

Recently I went to a day-long training session with several different state and federal agencies. The twist was that acronyms were forbidden ALL DAY LONG. It quickly became a great sport watching staff members from the DNR, DOH, OPS, DPS, and many more try to describe who they are and what they do without using acronyms.

We here at The GH Spin would like to extend that edict to meetings everywhere. Ambitious? Perhaps. Necessary? For sure.