Use of chat abbreviations in forum communications may hinder communication

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Remember to use the Reply as Linked Topic option when a response is not in keeping with the topic. I am guilty of using TL;DR myself in both contexts but should and will work to refrain from that usage.
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For a reference of abbreviations see also: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/glossary-inatforum/1966

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Agreed! Anything past “FYI” I try to spell out instead. Otherwise my time savings just translates to someone else’s extra time trying to figure out what on earth I’m saying :sweat_smile:

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I think this is a good idea, thanks @danaleeling.

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I’d never before seen TL;DR until I saw it on this forum. Maybe I don’t spend enough time on listservs and chat groups.

Since many participants on the forum know English as a second language rather than as their first, I’d suggest that abbreviations be kept to a minimum to avoid misunderstanding. Although perhaps many of the younger internet-savvy ones recognize such abbreviations better than I do as a native speaker.

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Probably most of the people you see, thumbing away on their cellphone,
would understand TL;DR

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This source is dated 2008 (over a decade ago, so not new)
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tl%3Bdr

For the US Merriam-Webster says 2002. Close to the 20 or 25 years for a human generation.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/TL%3BDR

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Perhaps, although I think the broader point is that using fewer abbreviations is the most inclusive path, and is recommended for the forum.

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I’ll conform - but I find it weird that iNatters cope with taxon changes … but not a living English language.

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The difference to me is that taxon names (at least the scientific ones) are universal. I keep up with those changes because I have to. But as a native English speaker would I want to keep up with idiomatic changes in, say, Mandarin?

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;~) too long. Didn’t read. Is. English.

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Thanks for this. As well remember there is the private messages option here on the forum too, for when a discussion is drifting way outside of what this forum itself is for.

I don’t think we need to ask people to refrain from using terminology that is in common use. At the same time, I agree with @jnstuart that remembering that people here come from different backgrounds is important, and that you may sometimes have to phrase things differently than you would in, say, an email to a friend. If someone asks what you meant by something, just explain politely. (Linking to something like lmgtfy.com—“let me google that for you”—as happened in the discussion linked to here, is, in my opinion, disrespectful and condescending.)

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i am a native speaker of English, educated to post-graduate level, use technology of all kinds and I have a much wider vocabulary than most. I have no idea what TL;DR means.

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I am in the same case as jmkyrie, but worse, because I speak mostly French (even if on iNat I write almost exclusively in (bad) English).
Not only do I not understand, but I have little chance of guessing…

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We are willing to look up new to us scientific terminology - Latin and Greek reworked to an artificial language.
English is not a dead language that lives in dictionaries, textbooks and literature.

That is like botanists working only from herbarium specimens (no climate, soil, pollinator - only a dead and faded flattened object)
Or an ornithogist using bird skins (no food, no breeding plumage)

Or using high school French in Paris, and wondering why you don’t understand them - and they kindly reply in fluent English (because lingua franca)

I hope that ^^ prevails.
My apologies the upward arrows are - see above quote from @bouteloua

Had to look that one up. I would’ve said “See my previous message.”

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Our forum at MetaBrainz/MusicBrainz is also Discourse-based, and we have some magic thing where if you hover over a defined set of abbreviations (that can be updated by forum admins IIRC?) it’ll show you what they mean. Something like this would be useful here too maybe? I’m sure there’s plenty of iNat specific terms as well that would confuse beginners and could be handled like this. It’d require an admin who knows more about Discourse having time to deal with it though. It basically just surrounds the words with <abbr> tags, like I did manually with IIRC above.

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