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Re: st: Re: A comment on abbreviations

From   Michael McCulloch <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: Re: A comment on abbreviations
Date   Sun, 21 Sep 2008 07:19:42 -0700

I could go either way on this argument. Yes, abbreviations make it more difficult to read, however I've also learned a lot about how and why to abbreviate (such as saving keystrokes!)

Perhaps a simple disclaimer (e.g. "Abbrevs used")?

Michael McCulloch (One of the less experienced users, eternally grateful for the help I've received from this wonderful group).

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" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
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
E-mail: [email protected]

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