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February 27, 2013

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Comments

Sander

Not Later Than

Lilli Misic

Hi Lynn,

What are your thoughts on "LMK" (let me know)?
I usually avoid abbreviations, but find myself tempted to use this lately.

Thanks!

Jackie

No Later Than ?

Shelley Manes

My nephew texted me OMW for "on my way." Informal context, I found myself tempted to use it in text but not email.

Clare

Netherlands Time?!

Gwenyth

Nice legs tanned?

R. Selvaraju

I am in Canada. So, New Foundland and Labrador Time?

Marie Kreft

I think NLT is confusing as an abbreviation and maybe a little discourteous as a concept. Surely a 2pm meeting should take place at 2pm?! If the professor thought he might arrive late after a lecture or another appointment, why not simply schedule the meeting for 2:15pm? Or was he suggesting that your daughter might be late and that he wouldn't see her after 2:15pm? Either way, there is something about this communication that emphasises the unequal relationship between professor and student.

Or maybe I'm reading far too much into it!

Lisa Marie

I agree with Marie Kreft's comment that NLT is not only an uncommon abbreviation, but also a bit of a rude idea, too. I am not the most punctual person myself, but I do not think it's appropriate to leave a 15 minute window when one sets an appointment!

By the way, when I first read this post on my phone, my eyes caught the "NLT 2:15" and I immediately wondered if that was referencing the chapter 2 and verse 15 in a book in the New Living Translation of the Bible. I guess that's a perfect example of how abbreviations can mean different things among different groups, and we need to make sure we know our audience!

Liz

As someone who works at a public university with former military or federal personnel, I have seen this often.
It means "No Later Than," and I usually group it with the other alphabet terms used by this same group. It took some getting used to, and certainly sparked a number of questions!

bianca

Lazy and dumb.

jamie

NLT is a military abbreviation.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. Yes, I believe the professor meant "no later than." But as I asked in my post, why didn't he write that?

I have worked with hundreds of writers across many industries, yet I have never seen that abbreviation before. I am perplexed that the professor would assume my daughter would recognize it.

Lilli, you asked about LMK. Only use it if you want to confuse people. I have to admit that it does appear in the "Texting Dictionary of Acronyms," but that doesn't mean people will recognize it.

Shelley, I don't know how many people know OMW. I would save it for messages to your nephew.

I love "nice legs tanned" and Netherlands Time. Newfoundland and Labrador Time is also an excellent guess. Sorry--it does not appear in "The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling" book.

Marie, interesting analysis! In the professor's defense, let me suggest that he was allowing extra time in case an earlier audition took longer than expected.

Lisa Marie, how right you are about knowing one's audience. We would have been quite surprised if the professor had cited a Bible verse.

Jamie and Liz, thank you for mentioning the military connection. I just looked at several sites that list military abbreviations, and it appeared on each one of them.

Everyone, thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas.

Lynn

Jj

Lots abbreviation in Logistics!

Elisa

Dear Lynn, I discover your site today and I cannot stop reading it.
I am Italian and I am a multilingual administrative assistant. Our clients know my English is quite good but they forget English is not my native language. Few years ago, before one of my trip, I received an e-mail stating: "pls send us ur full name, dob and pob to get ur badge". Dob and pob sounded like do's and dont's but I had to Google them to understand their meaning.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Elisa, thank you for that excellent example of what NOT to do.

I believe "POB" must be "place of birth." I am not surprised that you had to search for the meaning online.

Lynn

ragu

I don't understand why people use the acronyms in the email:

NLT - Not later than
PFA- Please find attached

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Ragu, I have not seen PFA before. That is a great one to avoid!

Lynn

Elephant

From your post and all the comments, I'm seeing it's best to avoid abbreviations unless you know for sure the person you're writing to will understand them.

I've had people use abbrevs like 'OOO' (Out of Office) and 'EOD' (end of day) which made no sense to me until I Googled them. I had a woman email me several times referencing 'OOTB' functionality for a new system the company was developing; it stood for 'out of the box', meaning the base functionality of the system before client customization. I could not figure out what it meant until I asked her.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Elephant, you are correct. It IS best to avoid abbreviations unless you are certain that your readers will understand them.

OOTB--that is one I had never heard and certainly would not have understood it.

Lynn

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