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Decoding 5 Common Business Acronyms

Lately, “business casual” isn’t a dress code to me. It’s a language. Ever since the invention of email, we’ve been trying to compress our communications. And so business acronyms were born.

When you start a new job, the most important thing to learn is their abbreviated dialect. I remember when I started at Aha Media Group, I didn’t even know what an SME was. Note: It’s a subject matter expert.

Below: More popular business acronyms, decoded.

What’s the difference between COB and EOD?

Know your deadlines:

  • Close of business (COB) means 5 p.m. It shows the person on the receiving end that you may need all day to complete the deliverable, but you are HUSTLING.
  • End of day (EOD): If your account manager or team uses EOD, it’s anyone’s guess. Who’s to say when the day ends, really? The deliverable could come as early as 1 p.m. or as late as 10 p.m. When you work in a distributed workforce (WFH; see last bullet), it’s essential to define what each of these means. And make sure to specify if you’re talking about EST, CST or PST. Deadline success lies in the definition of these terms.

FYI means No Reply

You may be tempted to reply to a message that starts with “FYI.” Don’t. The true intention of this acronym is to cut you off at the start. The person wants to tell you something, but there’s no action necessary on your end.

The best reply to an FYI is a succinct “Thanks!” Then proceed to store it away in your mind palace.

TL;DR means I’m Too Busy

We value brevity yet still kind of want to include all the details.survey for writing physician bios

So while we try to keep it short, we have a lingering desire to tell the whole story. It’s a common case of CYA (that acronym definition is for a different day).

If you receive a “TL;DR” (too long didn’t read) in response to a lengthy email you sent, it tells you the recipient doesn’t have a lot of time. You may need to communicate in a different style when interacting with them. Don’t let it hurt your feelings. Just move on, and come at it from a different (shorter) angle.

WFH

If someone tells you that they WFH (work from home), don’t immediately picture them throwing in a load of laundry, lazing about and sending emails while they watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” These people are working HARD.

The next time someone tells you they WFH, invite them to go out for coffee and offer them the human interaction they desperately need.

What does SF stand for?

I lived in San Francisco for a decade, so when I see SF, I automatically think about the beautiful city by the bay. However, chances are they are referring to Salesforce. Secretly, I take a second to give reverence to the Golden Gate Bridge and then move on to wrapping my brain around leads and opportunities.

Don’t be surprised if business acronyms have you stumped. Just Google it and don’t let anyone know you didn’t know. TTYL!

Read on for more productivity tips for the fast-paced world of healthcare marketing:

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About Kate Schmieding

Kate Schmieding

Kate is a lifetime project manager and copywriter with a decade of experience in technology marketing and entertainment communications. She spent 11 years in California at high profile companies like Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Records and just relocated back to Upstate New York to enjoy the country life. Kate is an award-winning writer with 4... More >