Is it okay if we mention 'SO' instead of 'Stack Overflow' or 'SE' instead of 'Stack Exchange' in question-answer communication on Stack Exchange Network? Which will be more preferred or which is a good practice?

  • In what context? – Oded Jul 1 '12 at 18:48
  • @Oded In question-answers communication on Stack Exchange Network. – Optimight Jul 1 '12 at 18:50
  • 3
    Sure it's okay. Your choice of words is absolutely up to you – Pekka Jul 1 '12 at 18:52

If you are talking about Stack Overflow specifically, you should talk about SO. Just like if you are talking about one of the other specific sites, you should say so - e.g. Database Administrators is typically referred to as dba.SE.

If you are talking about the entire network, then you should talk about SE. If you talk about SO in this context, people will think you are referring only to SO.


Whether you use the full words or the abbreviations is entirely up to you. In certain chat rooms I use the abbreviations out of laziness, because I know everyone in the room knows what I'm talking about. On the public site, I tend to use the full name, because I don't gain much at all by saving a few keystrokes, and using the abbreviation just opens the door to have to explain to someone who asks "What do you mean by SO?"

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  • I think OP is referring to using initialisms instead of the full names, not asking whether he can refer to SE as SO. – user154510 Jul 1 '12 at 19:10
  • @MatthewRead I see – Aaron Bertrand Jul 1 '12 at 19:10
  • Note, posting SO or SE here on Meta is temporary - we have a user hunting down for those (even long years after posted) and changing to the full name. example - and he got hundreds. :) – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Jul 1 '12 at 20:33
  • I definitely prefer the longer version. In chat I think it's casual enough and, as I said, I know that just about everyone reading knows exactly what I'm talking about. Outside of chat, that user is not going to find many corrections to make in my posts. :-) – Aaron Bertrand Jul 1 '12 at 20:36

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