This is the second 'rant' post in a week. I shan't make a habit of it, I promise. This blog should be about figures, books, history, ideas, analysis and games in the Napoleonic era.
I beg your indulgence once more though.
How Not to Stand Out in Any Crowd, Steve Kayser
My topic relates, somewhat, to my tongue-in-cheek request last week asking people to post less frequently. As I said, I really enjoy following the blogs of others and derive great joy, knowledge and interest from the marvellous range of figures, games, projects, reviews, campaigns and so forth that are the subject of people's posts. Keep 'em coming.
There is one thing that detracts from this: TLI/TLAs.
Three-letter initialisms or acronyms, where the number three can also be two, sometimes four, occasionally more. I have even seen it done for one! Sheesh.
|The Woodchips, by J Daniel|
Sadly there is far too much of this in my field (agricultural science). It is not as bad as in medicine, for example, although there are still plenty of times when one reads stuff and thinks, “did that really need to be made into an abbreviation/initialism?” There is enough space. I particularly dislike it as notation for a treatment. I was most pleased to see this topic raised as a concern in a recent issue of Nature.
If it is bad in science, it is out of control in wargaming, particularly wargame rules. Every unit type, factor, test, many of the outcomes; right down to the near ubiquitous use of D6 (gosh, I am guilty of that one!). You find yourself having to flick back to find out what the BMV or UFF was.
It does not stop there. It is done for nearly every war—mind you, I have never see the Napoleonic Wars referred to as NW, thankfully. Just another way in which the period is a cut above the rest, haha?!
The one that really, really drives me bonkers is names of rules. It seems that no-one can resist. Have you tried BP? No, what about NB? Surely you have heard of DBN (which one?) or SII, GNBAS, FOG, B, ESR, BE, GdB, MdE, GdA, GdD, CDB, RtR, L, LB, MA, MN, M&M, NFD, SB, SN, VlE, V&B, GB?
Arrrrrgh! Just write it in full, so everyone knows what the hell you are talking about!
If you won't do that, then please, please take a moment to pause and ask yourself, "do I really need to abbreviate this or to create an initialism?". Is it really understood by all?
Here endeth the rant.