Proposed Acronym Usage Rule

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.



I don’t think this is needed unless you’re defining something new or obscure. If you find something that wasn’t obvious to you and seems generally used in finance or forums, feel free to add it to the Wiki:


I 1000% agree @TripleB. A few people seem to have the habit of using acronyms, and I find myself rereading the sentence a few times to try to guess what it could mean. I saw one yesterday that was, “ODOM.” I had to read the sentence before it and after it to understand that it probably meant “OfficeDepot/OfficeMax.” Very annoying.

You sound like me for the week (really the month) after I reported to my first duty station in the Navy. We had a morning meeting and everything was acronyms. I wasn’t entirely convinced they were speaking English, although in time you certainly catch on.

I’ll add:
LPT: When NIFOC it’s advisable to cover your WC.

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Don’t think it’s worth enforcing and it’s easy enough to Google it or ask.
I’m surprised that the guy who’s for voluntary taxes wants to impose a rule limiting freedom of speech.


According to that, I’d expect the acronym to be OD/OM. But I’m no acronym expert.


A slippery slope towards circles and arrows. And unnecessary IMO. Like you said, every community has their own acronyms and abbreviations. If you truly want to learn something, you’ve got to make an effort, put in the time.

I suggest one should define the acronym before using it and also in the wiki/glossary. That’s why it’s there. IMO, we have no obligation to make this forum easily accessible to newbies, or easily Google searchable.

Some forum(eg creditboards) has ability to use wiki\ acronym list to cause all acronym in posts to give definition when hover cursor over, maybe that is better solution.


While I suffer the same LAK, I can’t agree with your recommended solution for a variety of reasons.

  1. If I’ve got to type out the meaning of IRA, even once, I may just pass on posting. While that would be no great loss, my fear is that more knowledgeable posters might feel the same way.
  2. What about other non-acronym abbreviations, like 401k or Roth?
  3. TGBIF

I suggest an alternative - The person who posts with an acronym should be sure that the acronym is in the Acronym Wiki. This slight bit of work of looking in the wiki is a small price to pay for experienced, frequently smart, and, in your case, prolific posters to not feel that posting is a chore.
For fun, posters who use acronyms that aren’t in the wiki can have their avatars changed to a JA (I’m thinking the HeeHaw one) for a month or two. Of course this won’t work if people do it purposely as an impotent act of jackassedness. :smiling_imp:

@motsuka 's suggestion seems like a good one. Of course, that probably means using some sort of Javascript that sits on Google.

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What’s LAK?


No idea but as BostonOne points out, “it’s easy enough to Google it” so let’s try that:

Nope. Not so much. And let’s say even only 10 people wasted time Googling it. How much effort did the collective 10 people waste versus the one person who typed LAK in to define it? Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my intention for this proposed rule. It’s to make things more efficient. If collectively people spend 1 minute finding information that one person could spend 5 seconds typing, it’s better if that person typed out the acronym and defined it.

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I have no issue with people using them as long as they define them at least once.

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LAK = Lack of Acronym Knowledge

I also pondered ODOM (among many others). Briefly thought it was a biblical reference. I also googled it and a few others with less than informative results.

After my second cocktail, it seemed like a humorous point maker. Now, less so.

Darn. My wager was on LAK = Laotian Kip since this is a finance forum.


I was certain it was one of these: Urban Dictionary: LAK

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At least the humor is coming out now. :slight_smile:

Stop making up acronyms that no one else uses.