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Speaking in Acronyms and Terms to Know



Acronyms can improve memorability. Proper use of acronyms can benefit listeners. First and foremost among their benefits is increased memorability. Acronyms can also help form the culture of organizations, work groups, and professional disciplines. They can even shave a few seconds off the length of many communications.However, overusing acronyms unconsciously can be damaging and abusive to listeners. All too often, people aren't even aware of their acronym usage, nor have they thought about the appropriateness of using acronyms with a target audience. This deadly combination can result in:

  • Confusion for — and alienation of — your listeners.
  • Mistakes and disagreements based on false interpretations your listeners may make.
  • Cheapened listener-perceived value of your products, solutions, and/or services.

This infographic is to assist special populations, providers and organizations in understanding the most commonly used acronyms in public health, behavioral health, and addiction medicine.