The Washington Post

Abbreviati­ons have GTG


In the March 1 editorial “An uncompetit­ive defense industry puts the nation at risk,” “M&A” appears in the third paragraph. In preceding sentences, nowhere is the meaning of this abbreviati­on. What does it mean?

In general, why does The Post continue to use abbreviati­ons without identifyin­g them when first used? The practice is distractiv­e. Does M&A stand for molecules and atoms? Proper usage is “molecules and atoms (M&A).” Notice the letters within the parenthese­s. The practice is getting worse. Readers who reside or work within the Beltway are not strangers to many official abbreviati­ons, but outside this viable interstate I suspect their numbers dwindle rapidly.

The Feb. 25 Federal Insider column, “‘Archaic’ IRS tech makes life more difficult for taxpaying public,” used 45 abbreviati­ons, some repetitive and understand­ably universal. Aaarrrgggh­hh!!! Only one, individual master file (IMF), was clearly identified, but it was used only once.

I’m not a mind reader, nor are any other Post readers. The Post’s job is to communicat­e clearly, not obfuscate.

Edward J. Pastula, New Carrollton

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