To be announced
In American English, to be announced (TBA), to be confirmed (TBC), and to be determined (TBD) are placeholder terms used very broadly in event planning to indicate that although something is scheduled or expected to happen, a particular aspect of that remains to be arranged or confirmed.
TBA vs. TBC vs. TBD
Although these phrases (and their respective abbreviations) are often used interchangeably, they have subtle differences:
- To be announced (TBA) implies that the event concept has been developed, but is not yet suitable for public announcement.
- To be confirmed (TBC) suggests that a decision has been made, but is awaiting final (formal) confirmation from authorities and/or organizers.
- To be determined (TBD) designates that the appropriateness, feasibility, or location of a given event is yet to be assessed.
Other similar phrases sometimes used to convey the same meaning, and using the same abbreviations, include "to be ascertained", "to be arranged", "to be advised", "to be adjudicated", "to be done", "to be decided", and "to be declared".
These various placeholder terms are often used to indicate to the public that a vacant position in a lineup of speakers, musicians, or other performers remains to be filled. The terms also frequently indicate that a creative work, such as an album or film, is forthcoming but that the date of release is not yet known. If the forthcoming project is not yet named, these placeholders may be used to indicate that the name has not yet been selected, although the project may also be designated as "untitled" pending that determination. The terms are also used in sports schedules, particularly where one team has locked in a position in a playoff schedule, but its opponent can not yet be determined because several teams may qualify for the spot depending on their remaining wins or losses for the season, or because other teams have not yet competed in playoff games that will determine who will face the locked-in team. In government and business, the terms may be used to indicate that a vacant job position is expected to be filled, or conversely that a particular individual will be employed in an as-yet-uncreated position.
TBA Investment type
"TBA" (meaning "to be announced") is also used to describe a specific type of simple mortgage investment, the forward mortgage-backed security. This is used to indicate that the investor is acquiring some portion of a pending pool of as-yet unspecified mortgages, which will be specified at a given delivery date. This usage has existed at least since the 1980s.
- Robert J. Schwartz, The Complete Dictionary of Abbreviations (1955).
- Ralph De Sola, Abbreviations Dictionary (1967).
- See, for example, Indianapolis Monthly: Volume 32, Issues 5-9 (2008), stating: "INDIANAPOLIS COLTS It's playoff time. Can the Colts pick off their rivals one by one, or will they fall victim to last year's heartbreaking turn of events? Ticket prices and opponents TBD.
- Robert W. Kolb, James A. Overdahl, Financial Derivatives: Pricing and Risk Management (2009), p. 141.
- See Bureau of National Affairs, Securities Regulation & Law Report: Volume 16 (1984), p. 1765, noting that "[t]he transactions in question at FCA were TBA (to be announced) Ginnie Mae forward contracts..."
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