I’m sure your cheeks reddened when you viewed the above image. Mine sure did when I recently saw this on a training document. It’s short for “cumulative.” I struggled with whether to post this but felt it was worth it if it reduced the occurrence of this embarrassing–sometimes pornographic–mistake: abbreviating words that make “naughty shorts.”
There are many abbreviated words that don’t raise eyebrows like the one above. “Introduction” is often shortened to “intro.” Information becomes “info.” But here are other words that are in the same boat of misfortune as “cumulative” that I’ve witnessed:
Assignment/Assessment. I have seen these words abbreviated to “ass.” It’s usually in a series, such as “Ass. #1, 2, 3 and so on.” Hoo, boy.
Welcome Home. True story. There was no room left on the sign to fit it all. So it said “Welcome Ho.” I’m sure some feminists were in an uproar about that one.
Shiitake. You know what’s implied when you abbreviate “shiitake,” as in mushrooms, to the first five letters. Yikes!
The good news is that spell check will catch these offenses most of the time if you’re creating a document. If you are making a sign, try to get one big enough to write out the whole word. Happy reading and writing, my friends.
Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–for business or consumer needs–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.
Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for the real McCoy. Try to conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass but to educate.