I love acronyms. They allow shorter typing and talking. I like to make them up (my favorite all-time is my acronym BCS = Big Computer in the Sky, which has nothing to do with college football and can be used to describe any application where data goes into the ether). Sometimes, they even help folks remember. And when they do none of the above, they’re a waste of everyone’s time and actually hinder learning/retention.I frequently observe organizations try to push acronyms on folks as if they have some proprietary information everyone else should fall in line with. Simple techniques should not be shoe-horned into acronyms with little meaning and no association for the average Joe. KISS = Keep it Short and Simple (or a variant) is an actual English word that is easy to remember and most folks know. HHSAS = Hook, Harbinger, Show, Apply, Summarize (I just made that up) is probably harder to remember than the content itself. PAR = Present, Apply, Review is much better, but only if I say/use it enough that it sticks. If I then tacked on 10 other acronyms you’d never heard of, whatever I gained in the simplicity of an acronym has been lost with the new trial of learning 10 vocabulary words with no prior meaning or association whatsoever. It’d be much better to have one acronym as a framework and hang the entire content off of that.

Use acronyms that have meaning and/or help retention. Don’t use them indiscriminantly.

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