A problem I’ve experienced on other forums is use of acronyms. I still stumble on DH and DW when I see them. Recently, trying to learn about MS caught me in a handful of new acronyms I never heard like DP for Data Point.
I propose a rule on this new forum, either voluntary or moderator-enforced, whereby for any individual thread, you can only use acronyms if you’ve established them in that thread at least once and put the acronym in a parenthetical.
Much like every flight has to have a safety briefing because you never know when it’s someone’s very first flight, I propose all threads have acronyms explained at least once, at some point during the thread, before they can be used standalone. As long as the thread has the acronym spelled out and defined upstream, then all subsequent posts are free to use it, on the assumption any new person will start from Post 1 in the thread.
Even for common acronyms like CC for credit card. You never know when someone is reading our finance board for the first time and has no idea was CC means. Many of these acronyms, if you google search them, will not come up with an answer. I believe Ars Technica forum has a ban on acronym use in at least their video game subforum, because there’s so many acronyms in game titles that even an avid gamer would get confused. Example MFW = Modern Warfare.
As a side benefit in addition to greater clarity, this might discourage people from using ridiculous acronyms and thereby removing from our lexicon like DH and DW. Of course, you can still use them since the ban wouldn’t be on any specific acronym, but since you have to define it in each post, if you have to type out “Dear Wife (DW)”, then you might be incentivized to just type “wife” or “spouse” instead, which in my opinion is superior to arbitrary acronyms.
As a Libertarian, I plan on serving as an example and acting the way I want others to act, and I will do this in all of my threads going forward. If others like the idea, perhaps the moderators will decide to impose an official rule and possibly edit threads to re-add in full words in the original posts as needed.
I like including them in the actual thread rather than a unified glossary, because imagine being someone completely new to finance. You might see a thread filled with acronyms and get frustrated and not find the glossary. And then someone has to maintain the glossary and it would need to be sticked in every subforum. Below is a sample of my recommendation in use. Note that the title has acronyms in it, but all are explained in the post itself, the first time they are used. Title length can become an issue if acronyms were banned from the title.
Title: "Funding IRAs with CCs"
Post: Has anyone had any success funding their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) from Credit Cards (CCs)? I’d love to earn reward points on my CCs but haven’t found any IRA custodians that would accept the funding source. Let’s start a thread with various Data Points (DPs) of our trials. I will collect the DPs into a wiki post for future reference.