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"Do Wargaming Abbreviations Bother You?" Topic

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27 Jan 2017 12:49 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 Jan 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

It seems like the hobby is filled with abbreviations (FoG, DBx, FoW, ZOC, Wb…)

thosmoss27 Jan 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

I used to play Advanced Squad Leader. My biggest resentment is that ASL was already reserved as "American Sign Language".

But yeah, learning the vocabulary so you can hold a conversation does get odious.

warwell27 Jan 2017 12:54 p.m. PST

No, but it helps if the original poster defines the abbreviation when first used.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 12:55 p.m. PST

I try to dejargonify my daily life. Too many people around me talk routinely in abbreviations and while I may understand it, it really does exclude people from the conversation. Also, it's no less annoying than a 13 year old who says, "I LOL'd."

Rhysius Cambrensis27 Jan 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

Yes, oh God, yes. One of the things that bothers me most is abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms. If someone uses them I just switch off because they obviously can't be bothered so why should I.

It seems to me that dullards who want to delude themselves that they are party to some sort of mystic masonic group by using and understanding the abbreviations that they do.

Toy Soldier Green27 Jan 2017 1:01 p.m. PST


nochules27 Jan 2017 1:04 p.m. PST

The constant use of "mm" is the worst.

M C MonkeyDew27 Jan 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Yes. It's understandable. and in some case perhaps inevitable, but yes. It can be a bar to understanding as much as a space saver.

The Beast Rampant27 Jan 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

Only when they're not translated from Italian, when all the rest of the text is.

rustymusket27 Jan 2017 1:10 p.m. PST

Yes, sometimes I give up on trying to understand a thread because I don't know what the abbreviations mean. Sometimes I will spell it out the first time (ie American Civil War) and then use "ACW" later in my post. I know we live in a "I can't move fast enough" world, but we could use a list of commonly used abbreviations for reference.

Disco Joe27 Jan 2017 1:16 p.m. PST

It does to a certain extent and that is when I tell people that I left my decoder ring at home.

Don Manser27 Jan 2017 1:19 p.m. PST


GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

I have to ask – why "mm" ?

That is at least a standardised and widely accepted abbreviation, the full word is very rarely used.

Cerdic27 Jan 2017 1:28 p.m. PST

Only bothers me when I dunno what they are talking about…

redbanner414527 Jan 2017 1:36 p.m. PST

I'm with Cerdic.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

I can usually figure it out. Sometimes, however, there are so many acronyms in a sentence that it is not legible. The use of acronyms works best if they are recognized by the whole span of the audience. ACW is usually OK, but, I have seen games and rules noted in such a manner and have been at a loss to decipher. For instance, what is FoG? Does ZOC mean "Zone of Control"? Without the context of previous use or a full paragraph of text in association with the use of an acronym, it may be lost on the reader.

daler240D27 Jan 2017 1:53 p.m. PST

Depends, if I'm in the 18th Century discussion group, I feel using SYW or WAS is ok. If I am on another board then I would use Seven Years War or War of Austrian Succession. I was on the WW2 board once when I started exploring that era and asked what DAK was, without missing a beat or making me feel stupid someone responded with "Deutsches Afrika Korp" and the thread continued. So, it's generally not a problem as I see it.

daler240D27 Jan 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Gildas, I think nochules was being ironic. A joke.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 1:57 p.m. PST

FWIW, IMHO, I'm fine with efficiencies in the written word.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

So long as I know what the abbreviation means, its fine, otherwise, confused much!

Winston Smith27 Jan 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

If I don't know what they're talking about it's generally because I don't play those rules.
So what's the problem?

Weasel27 Jan 2017 2:36 p.m. PST

I don't mind but it does tend to get a bit silly, doesn't it? :-)

Tacitus27 Jan 2017 2:36 p.m. PST

Effen A!

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

I am not fond of the abbreviations. How am I supposed to know what ASOF HoTT or IABSM stands for? Usually can figure it out but not always.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

This is really an issue of natural resources. There is a finite, if admitted large, number of TLAs that can formed from the Latin alphabet. The electronics industry butted up against the TLA limit many years ago and started using FLAs, such as SCSI, HDMI, and even VFLs like ASCII. Our hobby should not contribute to the ravaging of the store of TLAs, nor to the expansion into even harder to remember FLAs and VLAs.

Further analysis of these issues can be found here:

Old Smokie27 Jan 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

agree with Rhysius Cambrensis, there a pain

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

Sometimes, yes. For me, I am thinking about doing some Cold War gaming, and that board is riddled with abbreviations. I was in the army and still can't figure out what they are talking about sometimes.

Chris Wimbrow27 Jan 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

I find it annoying to have to look up the meanings, but then I think everyone else should know what ASL and MMP stand for.

(Advanced Squad Leader and its Multi-Man Publishing company.)

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

For better or worse, all of life is filled with acronyms. They are often intended for use by folk with common experience. The problem comes when they are presented to people outside of that group. There are also many amusing ones that change meaning when given to different audiences. I would own up to using mm, eg, ie and PC quite a lot! If i am not careful though a PC under pressure could be either a household problem or a combat one! On this very forum WOTR has two common interpretations.


JSchutt27 Jan 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

I would not mind abbreviations after the term is fully spelled out the first time it is used.

emckinney27 Jan 2017 4:09 p.m. PST

Have to type on my phone (no option), to typing full names can be annoying.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 4:29 p.m. PST

Abbreviations are hardly a wargame hobby issue, every profession and hobby group uses them. This is another of life's general conundrums.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 6:32 p.m. PST

Not especially.

If I don't already know what FOW is then spelling out Flames of War doesn't really tell me much more. Either way, it's some wargame I don't play. Occasionally a title could be informative (say, Longstreet), but often they are not.

Likewise, acronyms for jargon are no more or less problematic that jargon itself. If you don't know what an Electronic Order of Battle is, you don't know any more or less what an EOB is.

zoneofcontrol27 Jan 2017 6:57 p.m. PST

ZOC is the one that bothers me the most!

ipushleadaround27 Jan 2017 10:43 p.m. PST

Not personally however, I've been gaming for a terribly long time and have catholic tastes. I'd imagine that they're a constant source of bewilderment to neophyte gamers. When corresponding formally; the convention of providing the fully spelt equivalent in parentheses after the first time the acronym is used is considered good form but, for me at least, somewhat onerous. The uninitiated reader can always ask the writer for their definition.

parrskool28 Jan 2017 2:58 a.m. PST

No ……

cameronian28 Jan 2017 3:07 a.m. PST

Only if the poster doesn't define it on first usage; e.g. Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC), perfectly fine to use the acronym from then on.

John Treadaway28 Jan 2017 4:52 a.m. PST


foxweasel28 Jan 2017 5:41 a.m. PST


fantasque28 Jan 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

IMO they are fine, JMO


Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2017 8:24 a.m. PST

We try to define the acronym at first usage at work, which is a good plan. After 38 years of acronyming at work, I'm kind of burnt out on them, and try not to use them here.


parrskool28 Jan 2017 9:44 a.m. PST


David Manley28 Jan 2017 12:13 p.m. PST

They don't bother me. Some titles are a bit unfortunate though when abbreviated, such as Victory Decision, and Wings of Glory

attilathepun4728 Jan 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

I detest acronyms, regardless of who is using them or why. If you have venereal disease, admit it instead of trying to sanitize it by terming it "VD."

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

So what is everyone doing for VD? You know … February 14th …

zoneofcontrol28 Jan 2017 4:22 p.m. PST

I'm taking penisillan.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 10:17 a.m. PST


Buck21529 Jan 2017 5:47 p.m. PST

Oh, hell yeah! There is no limit on characters on these boards, so one is not limited to 140 characters, like twitter. If you would, rather than using acronyms, please spell it out so one's point can be properly made to those who are either new or unfamiliar with whatever subject is being discussed…

RudyNelson04 Feb 2017 2:35 p.m. PST

Only if I do not know what they mean. This happens a lot on some of the distributors and manufacturers sites.
LOL :)

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2017 7:58 p.m. PST

The use of the term "AAR" always gets me laughing. The only true "action" was you and three other guys pushing plastic or lead miniatures across a table.

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