By Amy Beth Miller
Title 1, EHA, IEP, FAPE, NSBA, FAFSA, Perkins, LRE, OCR, OSEP …
On my first day as an editor for a group of education publications, my head was swimming with all the abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms I encountered.
Near the end of the day a co-worker said something about the SAT, and I asked “What’s that?” Immediately I recalled that I knew what SAT meant well before I started work that morning. In fact, I had scored fairly well on the college admission test just a few years before.
One abbreviation can mean entirely different things in different contexts. A quilter probably wouldn’t blink if I mentioned my “UFO” but others might give me strange looks when I talk about that “unfinished object.”
Be a courteous communicator: Explain an abbreviation when you first mention it to someone who might not understand. That practice is particularly important in a format such as email, where you won’t see the other person’s puzzled expression.
Which abbreviations have caused headaches—or laughs—in your workplace?