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“Re”“Pls”“asap” How much do you know about “abbreviation”?

Thousands emails are sent forth and back in the workplace, in order to be more efficient, we always use abbreviation to communicate. However, these abbreviations are a bit different from what we learnt in schools. Let me cite some examples to explain. For example, you want to raise out the meeting next Friday in the beginning of the email, you can write “Re the meeting next Friday.” “Re” means “With reference to”. “Re” is very common in daily email uses, which is more direct and quicker to be read compare with the latter one. And the recipient would feel the wording more lively too.

Abbreviation becomes popular medium of communication aided by the popularity of smartphones
On the other hand, the increasing popularity of using smartphones encourages more workers reading and replying emails out of their workplace. In order to increase the speed in replying emails, many times they will use abbreviations. Sentences they write become interesting. For example, “Pls cfm the time with my PA asap as I am flying off that day. Btw, how’s the preparation for AGM in Dec going?” In the above sentences, “Pls” is the abbreviation of “Please,” “cfm” means “Confirm,” “PA” means “Personal Assistant”, and “asap” means “As soon as possible.” Moreover, we often see “btw” in our messages and SMS, which actually means “by the way.” Last but not least, “AGM” means “Annual General Meeting,” an occasion which a listed company needs to report to their stakeholders and to hold election of board members. To use abbreviation in daily communication indeed is more effective and efficient to convey what we want to say.

The most common form of abbreviations in English is to cut down the number of letters, for example, the abbreviation of ‘appointment’ is ‘appt’. Using the first letter only is another common form, for example, the abbreviation of ‘kilo’ is ‘k’ and that of ‘non-government organization’ is ‘NGO’.

Facilitate interpersonal communication by using abbreviations properly
It is inevitable to communicate with colleagues by using abbreviations in the fast-paced workplace. Yet, we need to be fully aware of the recipient’s identity and seriousness of the matter when we make use of abbreviations. When you are submitting proposals to your boss or when the recipient is your company’s key business partner, the use of abbreviations will be inappropriate in terms of decency and semantics. This may make the recipient feeling embarrassed or even puzzled. Hence, you have to think twice before act and differentiate whether the message is simply for a short reply, or for exploring business opportunity for your company. As long as you can master the skill to utilise abbreviations properly, your communication in the workplace can be significantly facilitated.

“Re””Pls””asap” How much do you know about “abbreviation”?

 (The article is provided by HKVEP, the illustration is provided by Maxim)