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.

@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 👍🏼

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

@EyamaYliu
Copy link

EyamaYliu commented Aug 18, 2022

LGTM +1

Let's go totally mental?

Looks Good To Me 👍🏼

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

两个土猫(Liang Ge Tu Mao) (Two domestic cats)

@sobytes
Copy link

sobytes commented Sep 30, 2022

Recently started working for a larger company after working for myself for a while and was completely snowed under with Acronyms and it is embarrassing to ask. Needed to brush up on ReactJS and ExpressJS so built this as a little side project.

acronymsseriouslysuck.com

Simple concept has a Chrome extension that searches the page for Acronyms from a DB you create and then gives you more info on them. Happy for any suggestions to make this better putting it out there. 👍🏻

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