This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
To the Editor.—
The substitution of abbreviations for cumbersome terms can make communication concise and perceptible, but not necessarily. In the September issue of the Archives, the first article uses the abbreviation "TCA" for triamcinolone acetonide. Most people knowledgeable of chemistry and probably all dermatologists would immediately tell you that TCA is an old, widely accepted abbreviation for trichloroacetic acid. In reading this article, triamcinolone acetonide could have been instantly perceived, whereas the abbreviation TCA became meaningless and caused mental confusion every time it was encountered. Not only in the case of TCA but, when I am trying to read an article, an unfamiliar term four words long is more rapidly perceived than an unfamiliar and meaningless abbreviation.I picked TCA as an example of this problem because it is so obviously inappropriately used. No abbreviation should be used in scientific writing unless it has an accepted and undisputed wide
Swint RB. EDITORIAL ABBREVIATIONS. Arch Dermatol. 1970;101(2):250. doi:10.1001/archderm.1970.04000020120019
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: