I have seen a lot of questions that uses abbreviations, like "idk", "u", "imo", as well as some short forms of site names like "SO". I tend to edit them to full forms when I see any, as I feel that it makes the questions' or answers' quality bad. But sometimes when some words are necessarily repeated (for example, "FAQ" and "SO" in this question), changing all the abbreviations into full forms make the question hard to read.

Should the abbreviations and short form words be avoided to be used at all times, or are they allowed at any times?

2 Answers 2


This is my opinion, and by no way a definite style guide, so take it with a grain of salt.

I think that common abbreviations (such as those that are more commonplace in everyday language) should be left with.

Stuff like FAQ, Q&A which would be cumbersome to write 30 times would be helpful. With that said, I think that it looks better if people type out the full form of the "I don't know" or "you", "in my opinion" (to use your examples).

I think site names should probably be expanded out once or twice, and if continuing to use it after a few times I would probably abbreviate it or find a better way to word it without using "StackOverflow" extensively.

The reason for this is that some users may not know all of the acronyms that are used (SO to StackOverflow, SU to SuperUser, SF to ServerFault, and so on and so far).

For comments, I would abbreviate the site names, just because we are limited to 500 characters, and on meta-discussions, 600 characters isn't a whole lot.


When you're dealing with people you are bound to run into some that do stuff you don't like. Similarly, while such use of abbreviations may irk you the wrong way, it may be completely acceptable for others.

I would argue that you should use your discretion (and privileges) to make the site better when you have the opportunity. Sometimes that means you edit to improve, or you down-vote, again, to improve.

Fundamentally you can't force etiquette and assume that everyone will follow it. Some people will just ignore you.

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