Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?
Acronyms Seriously Suck - Elon Musk

From time to time, Musk will send out an e-mail to the entire company to enforce a new policy or let them know about something that's bothering him. One of the more famous e-mails arrived in May 2010 with the subject line: Acronyms Seriously Suck:

There is a creeping tendency to use made up acronyms at SpaceX. Excessive use of made up acronyms is a significant impediment to communication and keeping communication good as we grow is incredibly important. Individually, a few acronyms here and there may not seem so bad, but if a thousand people are making these up, over time the result will be a huge glossary that we have to issue to new employees. No one can actually remember all these acronyms and people don't want to seem dumb in a meeting, so they just sit there in ignorance. This is particularly tough on new employees.

That needs to stop immediately or I will take drastic action - I have given enough warning over the years. Unless an acronym is approved by me, it should not enter the SpaceX glossary. If there is an existing acronym that cannot reasonably be justified, it should be eliminated, as I have requested in the past.

For example, there should be not "HTS" [horizontal test stand] or "VTS" [vertical test stand] designations for test stands. Those are particularly dumb, as they contain unnecessary words. A "stand" at our test site is obviously a test stand. VTS-3 is four syllables compared with "Tripod", which is two, so the bloody acronym version actually takes longer to say than the name!

The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication. An acronym that most engineers outside of SpaceX already know, such as GUI, is fine to use. It is also ok to make up a few acronyms/contractions every now and again, assuming I have approved them, e.g. MVac and M9 instead of Merlin 1C-Vacuum or Merlin 1C-Sea Level, but those need to be kept to a minimum.

@MikeDoes
Copy link

MikeDoes commented Oct 16, 2020

initialisms

initialisms is a sub-class of acronyms so he is J-chilling

@KyleJGreen
Copy link

KyleJGreen commented Oct 30, 2020

I want to share this with everyone I work with. And on the argument against this position, I want to point out that it's not even possible to look up some acronyms with absolute certainty that you're looking at the right thing. I was filling out a self evaluation for work and ran into the term BAU configuration and I can't even figure out via a Google search what it means. While I'm sure there is someone here who has an idea, that's besides the point. For myself, and everyone else that doesn't know this acronym, it means going down an entire rabbit hole to discover the meaning behind something that someone could have just typed out, removing all of the ambiguity. And this isn't the only time this has happened to me. Most acronyms have about 20-50 different phrases mapped to them when you Google them. Sometimes context helps you. Sometimes it doesn't. This has gotten way out of control.

@joao-esteves
Copy link

joao-esteves commented Nov 23, 2020

ha ha X ร† A-12 goes brr

@refractor07
Copy link

refractor07 commented Dec 6, 2020

Sometimes a simple instruction by someone like Elon makes people go wild.

@raphasramos
Copy link

raphasramos commented Jan 8, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

@SachinGurarikar
Copy link

SachinGurarikar commented Jan 21, 2021

To me it seems that He really value it's resources (time the most). He worked somewhere 100+ hrs a week, took risks and bla bla to achieve or travel the way which is really challenging. So, he is suggesting solution to problem of wasting time (when he is studying or reading, there could be way more acronyms and other time consuming stuff). So, I guess he is suggesting good.

@clemlesne
Copy link

clemlesne commented Mar 20, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

@moguzozcan
Copy link

moguzozcan commented Apr 29, 2021

My exact feelings when I start my career on an abbreviation heaven company years ago.

@YNathan
Copy link

YNathan commented Jun 17, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

@mainwaring
Copy link

mainwaring commented Jun 19, 2021

LGTM Large Genital's To Masturbate

@aharonh
Copy link

aharonh commented Jun 21, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

@PixnBits
Copy link

PixnBits commented Jul 7, 2021

Meanwhile: https://github.com/nasa/NASA-Acronyms#readme

This expands over 25,000 NASA acronyms.

This is not a dig on NASA, just a nuance-free (i.e. kinda useless) comparison of results/proliferation.

@codein2mins
Copy link

codein2mins commented Sep 10, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

@porterchild
Copy link

porterchild commented Sep 23, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

Linguistic Generalizations Thoughtlessly Misrepresent

@porterchild
Copy link

porterchild commented Sep 23, 2021

LGTM Going Too Meta

Beautiful. Let me add that to the chain for you, @andyfeller

@porterchild
Copy link

porterchild commented Sep 23, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

Linguistic Generalizations Thoughtlessly Misrepresent

LGTM Going Too Meta

@cdiamon
Copy link

cdiamon commented Oct 7, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

Linguistic Generalizations Thoughtlessly Misrepresent

LGTM Going Too Meta

Lexicographically Governmentalized Traditionalistic Misinterpretations

@Mexolius
Copy link

Mexolius commented Oct 25, 2021

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

Linguistic Generalizations Thoughtlessly Misrepresent

LGTM Going Too Meta

Lexicographically Governmentalized Traditionalistic Misinterpretations

LGTM Generated Tremendous Muddle

@supernovashock
Copy link

supernovashock commented Oct 26, 2021

@lp2485
Copy link

lp2485 commented Jul 14, 2022

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Let's Get Together monday

Leave Goats To Mingle

Let's Get This Moolah

Lack Girlfriend To Meet
Let's Go To Mars!

Let's Get This Merged!

Lets Get Ten More :)

Lonely Giraffe Tickled Me

Legendary Genius Transformative Methods

Let's Gamble, Try Merging

Lines Geared Towards Mischief

Let's Go To McDonald's

Large Gray Torqued Monkeys

Lazy Graphic Transformation Methods

Leave Garfield To Me !

Lines Golf Tripods Metaphysics

Looks Good TIll Morning

Looks Garbage To Me

Let's Golf Together in Mars

Lets Go To Mama

List Got Too Massive

Lets GO TO MOON

Linguistic Generalizations Thoughtlessly Misrepresent

LGTM Going Too Meta

Lexicographically Governmentalized Traditionalistic Misinterpretations

LGTM Generated Tremendous Muddle

Let's Get That Money

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment