Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2010 13:51:09 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Abbreviations
Date: April 2, 2010 1:46:01
Abbreviations are not going away, and as long as we have a
government or military neither are acronyms. Yes, there can be
confusion just as there can be with words. If I write lead, do I mean
the element, Pb, or the verb?
The context gives the reader the answer. When a person starts
working in a lab, they will surely familiarize themselves with the
nomenclature of that facility.
If they do not, then this points out a more serious safety issue
than whether or not the ethanol squirt bottle is labeled ETOH or
ethanol. Likewise, a
responder who enters a hazardous situation without checking all the
information available to them is showing a lack of safety =93ethic=94,
if you will.
Certainly, when extremely hazardous materials are involved the
clearest labeling should be employed. An example of when an
abbreviation would be the clearest is TNT. If I label a container
TNT, almost all would recognize the hazard. However, if I label it
trinitrotoluene, many would not. As Confucius probably
said, or should have, there is little in life that is black or
way, when we teach abbreviations it is not instead of full chemical
name; it=92s in addition to.
Students will run into them and need to know what they can
mean. We also teach
the ferric and ferrous nomenclature in addition to Fe3+ and Fe2+. They will see it and need
to understand it.
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