Ban Acronyms From Holiday Parties

I attended a holiday event yesterday where everyone was given a preprinted nametag. Every tag included the person's name and association (how they belonged). Every association was abbreviated.

As a newcomer to the group, I had no idea what the very short abbreviations stood for. At first, I didn't even recognize what the abbreviation on my own nametag stood for! This was not a party game–it was business shorthand.

If you are planning your organization's holiday party, ban acronyms and abbreviations from your nametags, programs, introductions, and other forms of communication. Those shorthand references may be great for longtimers and insiders, but people who are guests or new to your company will be left out. Yes, asking what an acronym stands for can be a conversation starter, but the question immediately labels the questioner as an outsider.

Happy holiday partying. Write responsibly!

Syntax Training

P.S. If "Write responsibly" made no sense to you, it was a play on "Drink responsibly," a slogan that is common in the United States.