Use Descriptive Titles When Starting Threads

This. I am unparalleled hereabouts in my ignorance about sports (other than boxing and MMA), and even I know what the National College Athletic Association use is usually referred to.

Is NCAA the new crudité? Quick, someone start 3 threads about it! :slight_smile:

How about MLB? NFL? NHL? CIA? KGB? FBI? Honestly - if you can’t suss it out from context, why in the world would you want to participate in something you know absolutely nothing about? Sure - if someone posts an obscure and confusing acronym, they should explain it. But after googling “NCAA” you should realize “Gosh, that’s an incredibly prevalent and near-universally known acronym and it would be silly for anyone to bother writing it out”. But no - your typical “the exception must be catered to” stance drove you to posting this thread.

Learning is hard.

It would? Really?

Before i came to the United States to live, i was about as interested in American culture as any non-American is likely to be. I majored in US history in college, i read a lot of American history and politics for pleasure, i subscribed to American magazines, and i watched American TV shows.

And when i landed here just over 10 years ago, i had no idea what the hell the NCAA was. I was aware that college sports, or at least some of them, are a Big Deal in America, but i had no idea of how the system worked, i had no idea what the umbrella organization was called, and i had no idea of its reach and its authority in the field of college sports.

I don’t necessarily agree with the OP that terms like NCAA need to be explained in thread titles, but i’m a bit surprised by your parochialism on this issue.

I’m not American and I don’t know what NCAA stands for, but if I was curious I’d google it. My sympathies to fellow non-American OP, but when reading an international board one must be prepared to sometimes look things up, in my mind, especially abbreviations. I learned a lot that way. No snark here, just my two cents, as they say.

Fair enough. Let’s say for “anyone remotely interested in discussing American collegiate sports”. If that’s the case and you have to ask what it is, you’re the kid in the Calc 404 class who asks what a derivative is.

I kind of figured this went without saying, but ignorant or not, you’re still American. :smack: I know nothing about music, but that doesn’t mean that just because I know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, everyone else should.

I’ve been trying to find online style guides to see what they say about the use of acronyms and initialisms but most of them either aren’t online or are behind paywalls. I did find the style guide for the Economist, and it says: “Unless an abbreviation or acronym is so familiar that it is used more often than the full form (eg, BBC, CIA, FBI, HIV, IMF, NATO, OECD), or unless the full form would provide little illumination (eg, AWACS, DNA) write the words in full on first appearance: thus, Trades Union Congress (not TUC).” I think the NCAA counts as an abbreviation that’s so familiar it’s used more often than the full form and so expansion is not necessary.

Yes, but the Economist would use the full form in the unlikely event it started reporting on US college sports, because while the abbreviated version may be used more frequently, it’s still going to be confusing to a sizeable portion of its readership.

But the SDMB is based in the US and the readership is largely American. So I don’t think it’s necessary to explain NCAA on first usage.

IIRC, the Economist has more American readers than it does British ones. But that’s not the point. The point is that the SDMB’s readership is not “largely American”, at least not for most values of “largely”. I’m sure we have more American members than we do members from any other country, but I suspect we have more furriners en toto than Americans. That is, assuming we don’t count Canada as American.

BTW, I’ve been searching the online archives of the Economist and found that they seem to be inconsistent in whether they expand the initialism on first use.

This Economist blog expanded on NCAA during the first use:

The BBC does not expand NCAA. Link. And by a quick search on their website, they report on the NCAA about 5 times a year.

But then that knife cuts both ways - it doesn’t hurt the OP to look things up, knowing a lot of posters here are American and are likely to use very specific acronyms, but it also doesn’t hurt the same posters to remember that this IS a board with a very large international contingent, and in the stated purpose of fighting ignorance (where ignorance in this case is simply a lack of familiarty with American college sports), it would be nice to offer a bone in the shape of an explanation of the acronym or a link to the association’s webpage in the beginning lines of an OP.

This sort of shit - which comes around at least twice a year, in various forms - would be avoided or at least minimised if both parties would just remember that the world is a big place. Sometimes you’ve got to look up things you’re not familiar with, and sometimes in order to reach an audience you’ve got to explain things you may find second nature.

OMFG!! Perish the thought!

Googling RACW gets me nothing that makes sense, adding Australia to the search returns Amazing Race Australia (which shows up all but twice on the first page). Google does ask if I mean RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland), could that be what you meant to type?

If not, what’s RACW mean?

That’s probably because I stuffed up. It was RACQ where I used to live and it was referred to as RACW over here, but the real acronym is RAC WA. Now, if I had enlarged on that it would have been easier wouldn’t it? :slight_smile:

Sorry about that. I responded, then reflected that you had a valid point so I edited. It was then I saw you had responded but it had gone.

Not a big deal. If I made my point, then it was worth looking a bit silly. Not that I don’t normally.