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wundayatta's avatar

Did you ever develop your own abbreviation scheme?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) August 28th, 2008

In what context did you do it?

These days, word processors come with automatic spell correction and you can add new abbreviations to have it “correct.” In times gone by, it wasn’t quite so easy, but it still worked. I thought it was so cool, sometimes I would just watch the screen to see my abbreviation turn into a fully-spelled word. Short abbreviations to long words were the coolest. Ok. Ok. It’s a geeky thing to do. What can I say?

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5 Answers

Vincentt's avatar

I’m not sure if it’s what you mean, but when I used OpenOffice it could autocomplete my words if I’d used them before in the same document, so then I only needed to type the beginning and then enter. No work on creating the scheme, yet the advantage of expanding short words into long ones.

I love bitching about small advantages like this. I do the same in the browser, instead of typing a whole sitename I try finding keywords for which that site is the first hit in Google. For example, just typing “last” will bring you to Last.fm, “reader” to Google Reader (though sometimes to Adobe Reader…), and so on.

And I don’t know if you’ve used the new Ubiquity Firefox extension, but it’s great for stuff like this :)

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, sure. That’s just about all my grocery lists consist of; e.g., klx, ptowels, swch, ckn, mushr, gpep, pots. My husband is brilliant at figuring them out, but even after all these years he sometimes comes home with something really strange.

And—I used to write application programs back in the old days, when all you had for field names was 6 alphanumeric characters, and 8 for files. A lot of creative squishing there.

wundayatta's avatar

Ah yes. Dbase had the same problem. As did DOS. I always liked making up those abbreviations.

BTW, how did you find this question so long after it died?

PS: Kix, paper towels, swiss cheese, chicken, mushrooms, ground pepper, potatoes. Am I bringing anything home that’s really strange? Oh wait. I am. That’s an l, not an i. Kleenex. Please be more careful with your penmanship in the future! Don’t foget, my eyes ain’t what they used to be. ;-)

Jeruba's avatar

It was linked (over on the right) to something else, which I’ve already forgotten. A lot of that stuff is old.

I sent the Fluthergods a note for the wish list, asking for the date of last activity (or something like that) to appear on a question. That’s not so much to let you see that a question is stale as to show when there has been some recent activity, so you know it’s still alive and may still be receiving visitors.

I never thought of those field lengths as a problem or even a limitation, just a trait. Why would you need 256 characters for a filename when you can say everything you really need to say in 8? For a long time even in Windows I kept my filenames to 8 just to show I wasn’t a wimp.

P.S. Right, right, swiss cheese—yes, not sandwiches—right, right, wrong, right. You missed the green pepper. That’s exactly the kind of thing that happens to my husband. We still laugh about the time he brought home pchips when I had written pchops. We had to open a can of beans or something for dinner that night.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, and when search-and-replace came along, but before I had spell-check and autocorrect, I used to create terms such as p% and r# to stand in for words that occurred frequently in an article or paper I was writing and then do a global replace at the end, less to save keystrokes than to make sure every instance of “philosophical” or “Renaissance” was spelled correctly.

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