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Dysfunction 1 – Acronyms are for D.I.C.K.S.


In my first job the name of the team I joined was the ‘G.R.E.A.T.’ team.

I shit you not.

Problem statement: 

Understandably, ever since then hearing or reading an acronym in the office makes me want to:

  1. stick my tongue out and blow a raspberry, and

  2. slap whoever is next to me at the time around the face with a dead cat. (I haven’t actually done either of these things, but I do have a dead cat in my drawer just in case.)

Anyway, ask yourself this question – what is the point of an acronym? Seriously – what actual benefit does using an acronym have?

The only thing it does is cause confusion and waste by making people stop and ask ‘what does that stand for?’.

Perceived benefits: 

  1. Imagine a world where no document needed a glossary.

  2. A world where you don’t look like a dick in your first few days in a new job, because you have to keep asking ‘excuse me, but what does F.A.R.T stand for?’.

  3. A world where people speak in plain words and don’t hide behind bullshit acronyms.

  4. A world where knowing the most acronyms does not mean that you perceive yourself to be better than others.

  5. A world with faces with less frown lines.

  6. A world where people don’t get slapped round the face with a dead cat.

The benefits of killing acronyms massively outweighs letting them continue to thrive.

Better for the planet (less paper by getting rid of glossaries), better for our well-being (don’t have to feel inferior for not knowing what something stands for), better for our organisations (clear unambiguous communication).

Business logic:

So please help me (and yourselves) by adopting these practises at work:

  1. Do not create an acronym for something. Ever.

  2. Do not use an acronym. Ever.

  3. Tell anyone who uses an acronym that they are a tit. A big one.

  4. Get yourself a dead cat (just in case).


Fact 1 – The Metropolitan police had to rename their newly formed Fast Action Response Team once someone realised the name didn’t smell right.

Fact 2 – No cats were harmed in the creation of this post.

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