Wikipedia:WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG!

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What The Fuck? Oh My God! Too Many Damned Three-Letter Acronyms. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!

The message[edit]

WP:WHEN WP:EDIANS WP:CITE WP:PAGES in WP:THE WP:PRJ WP:NS, they often WP:REF WP:CUTS LIKE "WP:BEANS", "WP:BALLS", WP:AND "WP:BRD". While these MOS:ABBRs are WP:GREAT for WP:RDRing to a particular WP:PAGE WP:YOU USE often, it's probably a WP:BADIDEA to make a WP:POINT of using these TLAs in daily WP:TALK, lest your DISCUSSion end up as WP:NONSENSE LIKE the WP:TITLE of this page. BTW, What's This For?

English translation[edit]

When Wikipedians refer to pages in the Wikipedia: namespace, they often use shortcuts like "WP:BEANS", "WP:BALLS", and "WP:BRD". This jargon is used as a link to a particular, often-used page. While these abbreviations are great for redirecting to a particular page that you use often, it's probably a bad idea to habitually use these in daily discussion, lest your discussions may end up as nonsensical as the title of this page.

Avoid unnecessary use of jargon[edit]

Editors use jargon for compact communication, especially when doing hundreds of similar laborious important edits, e.g. vandalism patrol. Jargon directly excludes people, even when used with the best of intentions. It can take a conscious effort to avoid it. Don't Bite The Newbies.

If you use abbreviations all the time, you risk forgetting what the expansion actually is, and might say something you don't actually mean:

e.g., you refer to WP:FORK, meaning the short version of WP:CONTENTFORK – but it links to WP:Mirrors and forks. Another example, you use the shortcut WP:ECU to refer to extended confirmed users, but it links to Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecuador.

Avoid projecting elitism[edit]

Newer editors will often encounter the first heavy use of these abbreviations in the talk pages of articles, Articles for Deletion discussions, or other administrative areas of Wikipedia. To keep the community open and inviting to newcomers, editors should avoid the use of cryptic language and acronyms, as it projects a sense of elitism that is likely to alienate newer editors.

For example, when indicating the reasons that an article should be deleted, the following may be considered hostile to newer members:

Nominated for deletion, WP:NOR, WP:N, WP:V

Instead of listing an alphabet soup of codes, the following use of Wikipedia's "piped linking" technique improves the clarity of the above sentence:

Nominated for deletion as original research and for lack of notability; in addition, it does not appear to be possible to verify the accuracy of the sources, as the article contains only references that are contained in unpublished manuscripts.

It is longer, but far more understandable, and contains a little context that allows someone to understand particular reasons why a policy might apply. While it may be obvious to you why a given policy applies, it may not be to others – even very experienced editors!

Moral of the story[edit]

Always use a proper name for a Wikipedia namespace page when discussing it. If you find that you are getting sore wrists and fingers from all the typing, try to simplify or summarise the pages you are referring to, so that in future you only need to refer to a single link.


This is an encyclopedia, not text messaging.

See also[edit]