The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Yerffej's picture


There have been many times that I have seen a subject heading or body text with an abbreviation.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent being and I own most of the books that give birth to this multitude of abbreviations.  However, more often than not I have no idea what the abbreviation refers to.   There are also the whole host of abbreviations born out of the "texting" world.  Those really leave me in the dark.  English is my first language and the primary language of this forum.   I wonder about the great number of TFL members for whom English is not a first language.   I am guessing there are those who understand less than I do.

My plea is for a return to the language as it was intended and the dropping of all the abbreviations that confuse so many.  It will make your post easier to understand and increase the chances of a meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas.


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

My posts look like something out of a David Foster Wallace novel, but with parentheticals instead of footnotes (which I add (in case you're wondering) so people who find one of my posts later via (Google or TFL (The Fresh Loaf)) search will know what I'm talking about).

There are way too many head-scratchers like ABNFMAD (Artisan bread in Five Minutes a Day) or BBA (The Bread Baker's Apprentice) or ITJB (which I thought was Introverted Thinking Judging Boy from the MBPI (Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory), but is actually a book titled Insiside the Jewish Bakery).


While we're at it, can we bribe Floyd to write a validation filter that rejects posts titled "...". I have to scale my web browser's text to 3000% to click on the "...".

dwcoleman's picture

Was sarcasm intended when you used TFL as an abbreviation?

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia
G-man's picture

Why not just ask for clarification? I've found that, where lingo is concerned, those in the know are more than happy to help someone learn. Especially around these parts, folks tend not to be hostile to new members.

Ask for clarification. Learning the language is part of the experience of learning a specialized skill, and acronyms are part of language.

hanseata's picture

using the full word or book title the first time you refer to it in your text, and the abbreviations for repetitions?

I agree with Jeff - if you don't know what an abbreviation means, you feel a bit stupid, or annoyed (depending on your temperament), and it can also smack of arrogant insiderdom.

When I came to the US, I had to learn a lot of abbreviations (like ASAP, SNAFU, TGIF, BO and BFF), and LOL and ROFL communicating with our daughters.

:) Karin


Yerffej's picture


I was born here and have no idea what a BO is and only recently became familiar with BFF.  Taken to its extreme, all these acronyms and abbreviations lead to degradation of the language and finally become an obstacle to communication.


hanseata's picture

You are right, Jeff - same as the advertising lingo with its "lite" and "nite" (though that can probably be also seen as language development).

In Germany they don't have a lot of those abbreviations, the only I can think of is one that hides a very rude suggestion (LMAA = kiss my ....).

BO is also an abbreviation that hides a rude remark - body odor.


mrfrost's picture

Guess Deutsche Telekom cleans up on text message fees there. lol.

And texting there must be pretty tedious!

lazybaker's picture

The site does have a glossary section with some terms and abbreviations:

Maybe folks can help add some terms to the glossary section.

WFO : wood-fired oven

EVOO: extra virgin olive oil

baggies: nickname for baguettes 

It took me a while to figure out that "baggies" weren't small bags. haha

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I kept thinking it was something specific to a type of Vietnamese sandwich.

Poor Rachel Ray's demise can be traced backed to her use of "cutesy" abbreviations like EVOO. How they teased and tarnished her for using them.

And everytime I see WFO, I think WTF (not an abbreviation I'm going to explain here).

G-man's picture

I try not to use acronyms and jargon because I personally believe it's the sign of a lazy mind, and I do my best to keep my mind exercised, but I do occasionally slip, as do many others. We have a community here that largely knows each other, and if we don't know an answer we usually know how to find it. It is difficult to remember that not everyone has that sort of familiarity. I will try harder to eliminate my use of acronyms and jargon.

I really must hang on this claim that acronyms and slang lead to degradation of language. Can you point to a study by a reputable institution that proves this to be the case? I've seen the claim made by many people to protest various types of slang or colloquialisms they personally find distasteful, but have yet to see the quality or frequency of usage of formal English degrade, personally. I'm curious if studies have shown that language is, in fact, deteriorating.

I don't mean to be hostile and I apologize if this post is coming off that way! I do see your point!

clazar123's picture

I think the correct word to use would be that language changes rather than degrades. Degrades is a value judgement. Language also has formal and common use and sometimes the type of use becomes a form of social divide with "common users" being viewed as lower class than ""formal users" and vice-versa. No one in the modern world would really understand "the King's English" anymore, whether you are from London or speak American English.

I understand where Jeff is coming from as it does get rather tiresome asking frequently or researching what different acronyms stand for, if I don't know. It is, after all, like learning a different language and that can be exhausting and trying. I don't sit down and "tune in" (does everyone know what that means in the digital age?) to TFL  to get tense. I really want to relax and enjoy reading and helping and if I can't understand what is being said, it makes me frustrated. My 8th grade English teacher would chillingly remind us that slang was not an acceptable substitution for speaking properly and " reflected an uneducated mind". She was a hardass!

The beauty of TFL (I insist on using this one) is that we are users from all over the world and having some language issues is not unusual.( Who ever heard of a Bap?Now I know, as the gentleman from England explained it to me.). So someone had a moment of frustration with an abundance of abbreviations and here we are. Be considerate, try not to overdue the acronyms and abbreviations,be willing to explain or learn and have fun.  Let's move on or just have fun with this.