Discussion Time: Acronyms



Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing?  I’m doing great, making slow progress on Operation Breakout, and hope to hit 60k words this Sunday.  I’m making slow strides with my Dragon, but my hands are thanking me for it.  I just plotted out the pre-battle scenes, and then I write the climactic battle and the wrap up.  I won’t make my goal of finishing it in January, but I’m only 2 weeks from finishing my first draft!!


As an update, I’m still giving away my The Sleeping Legion prequel novella, The Demons of Kor-Lir through our newsletter.  I’ll also periodically send out book deals and recommendations, though I’ll never spam you or give away your email address, you’ve got my word on that one.  And you can take that to the bank!  Seriously, and if it has monetary value, could you buy me a coffee?  Starving artist here!


Okay, onto todays topic.  I would love to start a dialog in the comments about the proper use of acronyms. I grew up in a military family, and am the son of a sailor. Wow, that almost sounds like a band or a song… somebody should make that happen! Terms like head (bathroom), port (left) and starboard (right) were common. I knew what a quarterdeck was before I had a quarter to my name. Okay, that was a cheap joke, but as a recovering infantryman at least I’m not eating glue anymore. Then I enlisted into the Army, and became indoctrinated into the ways of the Big Green Weenie.  I learned that a bathroom was really called the latrine, my apologies to the sailors among us. We learned that the word home had a dual meaning.  Sadly, for most of us the only applicable one meant walking really really far, with all of our stuff on our back.


Every profession has these, terms that are job specific. Sometimes the terms are actually acronyms, like FRAGO. A frago is a term for a Fragmentary Order.  This term is used to send prompt updates for existing orders to subordinate and supporting commanders.  Basically, it means “oops, we forgot this on the first message.”  There are hundreds of acronyms out there like this one, but I won’t bore you to tears. The point is, every profession has them. The point of discussion is, how much is too much?  Or, when is it not enough to make the story feel authentic? What are your thoughts on this? Where is the natural crossover between niche dialogue among similarly skilled characters and what is commonly known by your audience?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Once I’ve figured it out, I’ll write a summary World Building Wednesday post!




Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!




–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.