One of the first things I noticed when I started working in the space shuttle program is the rampant use of outrageous acronyms. From the first day it was like people were speaking another language. It gets easier after about a year, but if you sit back and look at the way people talk out there it is truly ridiculous. I serve on two different awards boards (volunteer positions that determine who gets the prestigious awards) and reading through some of the nominations is incredible. Here is a paragraph from a recent award nomination that is just unbelievable in the amount of acronyms used. I changed the person’s name to Xxxxx to cover up their true identity:
Additionally, Xxxxx developed processes and tools to facilitate the assessment effort, most notably a DR trending tool. The DR trending tool provided the team with the capability to execute a thorough and controlled analysis on over 8000 CEE DRs. This model has since been incorporated into the USA FCE/EVA SETS to facilitate trend analysis on hardware processed by the element. Because of Xxxxx’s steadfast dedication, commitment, and leadership the team successfully completed the certification assessment, which has since been briefed to CTSD management, the Super PRT, and the HIP. The customer routinely notes Xxxxx’s resolute support to the PRT and the RTF effort. Xxxxx is currently working with the NASA SSM and PRT team members to resolve the noted findings from the certification assessment and further ensure CEE is ready to support the RTF.
Even I am unsure of what they are trying to say in that paragraph. We have “Program Acronym Page” on our intranet at work and just one of the many links leads to this list. There is another link for NASA program wide acronyms and that one is about ten times longer than the one here. I feel sorry for people that are new where I work because it is so difficult to figure things out at first. We got a new secretary for our department a few months ago, and she has to go with our second line manager to a lot of meetings and take notes. She says it is like trying to take notes when everyone is speaking in another language.