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Wikipedia:WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG!

Page title translation: What The Fuck? Oh My God! Too Many Damn Three Letter Acronyms. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!

WHEN WP:EDIANS CITE PAGEs in the PRJ NS, they often refer to them using CUTS LIKE "BEANS", "BALLS", and "NFCC". While these ABB are GREAT for RDRing to a particular page you USE often, it's probably a BAD idea to make a POINT of using these TLAs in daily TALK, lest your DISCUSSION end up as NONSENSE LIKE the TITLE of this page.


When Wikipedians refer to pages in the Wikipedia namespace, they often use shortcuts like "WP:BEANS", "WP:BALLS", and "WP:NFCC". This jargon is used as a link to a particular, often-used page. Discussions may end up nonsensical (as the title of this page) if the acronyms are used habitually.

Avoid unnecessary jargon

Jargon is used for efficiency, especially when doing hundreds of similar laborious important edits, e.g. vandalism patrol. Jargon directly excludes people, even when used with the best of intentions. It can take a conscious effort to avoid it. Don't Bite The Newbies.

If you use abbreviations all the time, you risk neglecting what the expansion actually is and might say something you don't actually mean.

e.g. you refer to WP:FORK, meaning the short version of WP:CONTENTFORK—but it links to WP:Mirrors and forks

Avoid projecting elitism

Newer editors will often encounter the first heavy use of these abbreviations in the talk pages of articles, Articles for Deletion discussions, or other administrative areas of Wikipedia. To keep the community open and inviting to newcomers, editors should avoid the use of cryptic language and acronyms, as it projects a sense of elitism that is likely to alienate newer editors.

For example, when indicating the reasons that an article should be deleted, the following may be considered hostile to newer members:

Nominated for deletion, WP:NOR, WP:N, WP:V

Instead of listing an alphabet soup of codes, the following use of wikipedia's "piped linking" technique improves the clarity of the above sentence:

Nominated for deletion as original research and lack of notability; in addition, it does not appear to be possible to verify the accuracy of the sources, as the article contains only references that are contained in unpublished manuscripts.

It is longer, but far more understandable, and contains a little context that allows someone to understand particular reasons why a policy might apply. While it may be obvious to you why a given policy applies, it may not be to others—even very experienced editors!

Moral of the story

Always use a proper name for a Wikipedia namespace page when discussing it. If you find that you are getting sore wrists and fingers from all the typing, try to simplify or summarise the pages you are referring to, so that in future you only need to refer to a single link.


This is an encyclopedia, not text messaging.

See also