How to Look Impressive and Like You Know What You’re Talking About

Have you ever been thrown off course during a conversation where someone drops in an obscure acronym? It often happens during conversations with teenagers as new abbreviations pop up on social media every second and leave you feeling lost and confused. A few that I recently learned the meaning of include:

  1. TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read. Indicating a passage of text is too long to invest the time to digest.
  2. BAE: Before Anyone Else. Not just an acronym, this has now become the name of the thing it is referencing e.g. “My BAE and I are staying in tonight”.
  3. NSFW: Not Safe For Work. Signifying that a post or article is considered inappropriate for the workplace e.g. contains nudity.

However, I’ve also found myself stumped when mixing with certain professionals such as accountants or lawyers. In any industry there are a number of acronyms that become part of that industry’s language but leave the rest of us wondering what on earth they’re talking about.

In the directory enquiries and tech industry we have an endless list of such abbreviations. Here are a select few that are used regularly in the Simunix offices:

  1. DQ:Directory Enquiries. A telephone service used to find someone’s telephone number e.g. ukphonebook.com.
  2. XD: Ex-directory. When a person chooses not to have their telephone number listed in a telephone directory or available through directory enquiries.
  3. ER: Electoral Roll. An official list of people in a district who are entitled to vote in an election.
  4. TPS/CTPS: Telephone Preference Service/Corporate Telephone Preference Service. A register of telephone numbers whose users have indicated that they do not wish to receive sales and marketing calls.
  5. TBR: The Bereavement Register. A central database that acts as the main register of deaths with the aim of stopping direct mail being sent to the deceased.
  6. PAF: Postcode Address File. A database which contains all known postcodes in the UK.
  7. OSIS: Operator Services Information System. This database holds directory listings for all UK Communications Providers.
  8. OS: Ordnance Survey. The national mapping agency providing large-scale detailed maps of Great Britain.
  9. GPS: Global Positioning System. A satellite navigation system that allows land, sea and airborne users to determine their exact location.
  10. API: Application Program Interface. A set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application or other service.

So next time you find yourself in the company of a directory enquiries expert, you can impress with your knowledge of industry acronyms. If you really want.

TTFN