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st: Re: A comment on abbreviations

From   "Martin Weiss" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Re: A comment on abbreviations
Date   Sun, 21 Sep 2008 14:00:20 +0200

Guilty as charged! But sometimes fast turnaround on the list renders such practices necessary. At the end of the day, Stata understands you when you enter -h prob-: The correct help file appears, so it is possible to understand what the line "prob f p w" means.
Secondly, the output that appears on screen after the command also clearly says what Stata has just calculated.
I was not aware that there was an FAQ explicitly prohibiting abbreviations. Sorry about that...

----- Original Message ----- From: "Svend Juul" <SJ@SOCI.AU.DK>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 1:52 PM
Subject: st: A comment on abbreviations

Abbreviations make it easier to write a text, but more difficult to read it. Especially if your experience with the language is limited, abbreviations make life difficult. I have the impression that the use of abbreviations at Statalist have increased during the last months, and recently a response included this:
prob f p w

It means
probit foreign price weight
- and that is much easier to read.

The Statalist FAQ includes good advice, mostly to less experienced users seeking help. I think it should also include this advice to the more experienced users offering help:

Be helpful. Avoid abbreviations.




Svend Juul
Institut for Folkesundhed, Afdeling for Epidemiologi
(Institute of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology)
Vennelyst Boulevard 6
DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone, work: +45 8942 6090
Phone, home: +45 8693 7796
Fax: +45 8613 1580

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