Use of abbreviations in scripts

Dar Scott dsc at
Sun Oct 15 17:18:33 EDT 2006

On Oct 15, 2006, at 10:14 AM, Jerry Daniels wrote:

> Is your first name "Dar" or is that an abbreviation (abbrev) for   
> something else?

Both!  My birth certificate says "Darwin" and I use that in formal  

The dual name is a tradition my parents borrowed from my namesake who  
introduced them.  The dual name is like a nickname with a formal  
name.  The name Dar means "oak" and the name Darwin means "beloved  
friend" (or lover of the sea), so the pair is a reminder that a dear  
friend is steadfast, a reminder I can use.  The history of the name  
gets wrapped up with pearl and Mary somehow.

One of my sons got a couple degrees in biology and while going to  
school for that he would introduce me to his profs by saying "And  
this is my father, Darwin".  Unlike Chuck, my focus is on Revolution  
rather than evolution.

So, with that duality I might be inspired to see both 'cd' and 'card'  
as alternate spellings of card.  I intend to be accepting of 'cd' but  
it might take a while to start typing 'cd'.  Since we all know I'm  
not a real card-head, I don't have a strong social pressure to do so.

So, my question to all, since it seems to be OK and even "in" to use  
abbreviations, how about for examples on this list where newbies read  
scripts?  Should those be spelled out or should newbies learn to read  
abbrev early?  (The word "should" should be read in the most generous  
sense in all places.)

Slightly related:  I sometimes use f(x) instead of 'the f of x' where  
I think it is more readable, especially within a more math-like  
expression.  I sometimes use temporary variables for documentation  
and to avoid multiline statements, though my natural tendency is to  
write a single return (perhaps multiple lines) for some function  
definitions.  The latter are often shorter, but only Andre can read  

Less related:  Of course abbreviations are right for script compressors.

Oh, and here is one Andre might understand, "cd" looks like "cdr" to  
me, an "abbreviation" for "first".  It gets typed cud or fcd or cdar  
when I'm typing fast.  (I suspect there is a lot of sloshing from one  
neuron to another in my brain or ganglia).


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