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Old 08-29-2006, 07:32 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: 4E Book abbreviations

Originally Posted by Molokh
One question: WHY? I always thought it was used to save wordspace and speech time.
"Speech time"? I've never heard abbreviations used in speech, and even if someone did, it would only save time for the single-letter ones. I can't imagine telling someone with a straight face, "That rule is on page double-you colon ay kay emm ninety four."

And that's part of the problem -- with so many books, the abbreviations great and grew. The space saved by referencing p. T:ARIII113 isn't worth the confusion to those who (in this case) aren't immediately familiar with the GURPS Traveller alien race books.

Shorter abbreviations make more sense, but then there's the potential for confusion again -- more than once, in published GURPS books, they've had to errata numerous misuses of abbreviations because someone used C or CA for Cabal instead of CB. And can you blame them? CB was only used because all the ones that made sense are taken. Add another few decades of GURPS books and the list will be an even more incomprehensible mishmash.

Ten Years From Now (if they hadn't stopped abbrevs):

"Okay, GURPS Congo just went up on e23. What abbreviation do I add to the abbrev page? C?"

"No, that's GURPS Cops."

"Right. CO, then."

"No, that's GURPS Conan."

"Okay, CON will do."

"We used that for GURPS Conspiracies, remember?"

"Argh. Okay, CG is ugly, but it'll work."

"Can't. The e-book GURPS Castles and Garrisons uses that."

"Um, CONG?"

"No way. That would definitely cause confusion with GURPS Viet Cong, even though that e23 book uses VC -- we'd get a FAQ on that every week."

"Okay, how about CONGO?"

"Let me check... nope, that's totally clear."

"Okay, added it to the abbrev page -- the shorthand for GURPS Congo will be CONGO. Fancy a beer?"
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