Abbreviations on the Forum and elsewhere in the IAA website

I recently had a comment, not really a big complaint, from a very knowledgeable and old-time member of our fraternity, that abbreviations are often used on the Forum (we are not talking about computer abbreviations like “IMHO” etc.), taking it for granted that everyone knows what they mean, when often new members or new collectors do not. He cared enough about the issue to phone me personally to discuss it. I agree with some of the comments made to me, although I would simplify it a bit. It was also mentioned to me that information that perhaps some would say is self-explanatory and is omitted in discussion, is not to some readers. These same comments apply occasionally to the Journal as well, although by and large, everyone connected with the Journal does a fine job to make the articles, etc., comprehensive.

For example, I might enter a question and ask for identification of the probably date of a headstamp from “SFM.” Well, many of us know what SFM stands for, who they were and where they were, but I am sure some readers do not. I think that the initial question or entry should identify in full these names and their general locations. I don’t think it is necessary to give a town, etc., but the country, yes! So, on the first entry, that “SFM” should read "Soci

John–I would agree with you completely. Almost all scientific journals have the same rule. For instance, I am an entomologist and if I submit an article to a journal in which I mention the scientific name of an insect, I MUST spell out the entire name the first usage in the article, such as for the Carpenter Ant, Camponotus pennsylavanics. After the first time, each additional usage becomes C. pennsylavanics. I also collect stamps. Linn’s stamp News has a rule that ANY technical term used MUST have short non-technical explanation in parenthesis following the first usage, such as commemorative stamp (a stamp issued to honor a person or event). So, this type of thing is common in most professional publications.

The only change I would suggest is that following the full name and country of a company that it should be followed immediately before or after by the abbreviation that is used later, such as U.M.C. (Union Metallic Cartridge Co, USA) or Union Metallic Cartridge Co., USA (U.M.C.).

This same policy should be extended to technical terms that are not in common use.

Even as a “Newbie”, I have been guilty of this when discussing my favorite subject matter, Tank Fired APFSDS ( Amour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammunition. I used “CCC” in a thread with-out clarifying what it meant assuming most here with so much more knowledge then me would know what it meant. I had 3 people contact me after posting it for a better definition and probably others who read it and did not understand that did not contact me. Anyhow, “CCC”, means Combustible Consumable Case, and is common Jargon associated with allot of large bore tank ammunition. I should not have assumed everyone knew that and follow the correct practice of defining it after the 1st time used. I won’t be doing that again :-)


Well I’m sorry but I don’t know half of the so-called “common” computer abbreviations. No make that LTH.
IMHO, BBT & whatever else you guys use, drive me up the wall.
Keep your powder dry (KYPD)

Pete - I don’t know any of the computer abbreviations, but I simply ignore them as irrelevent to anything, like most of the contrived computer language. The initials used seldom, if ever, add anything or, for that matter, detract from anything written about cartridges on the Forum. That’s why I mentioned that I was not talking about them - they simply have no importance one way or another.

[quote=“Pete deCoux”]Well I’m sorry but I don’t know half of the so-called “common” computer abbreviations. No make that LTH.
IMHO, BBT & whatever else you guys use, drive me up the wall.
Keep your powder dry (KYPD)

If you click on this link you will find Teak posted a long list of common internet abbreviations,
BTT is “Back to Top”, and is used to bring a old post back up to the top of the list
IMHO is "In My Humble Opinion"
IMNSHO is "In My Not So Humble Opinion"
AFIK is "As Far as I Know"
IIRC is “If I Remember Correctly”

HTH *Happy To Help"