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Author Topic: Over-use of Abbreviations?  (Read 1250 times)
WA8JNM
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Posts: 170




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« on: November 08, 2009, 05:48:26 AM »

I have been continually working to improve my CW skills for the past 5 years, after being QRT for at least 20 years.  I'm up to perhaps 23 wpm of reasonably reliable head copy.  During a contact this week with a very good fist, I noticed that he rarely used abbreviations, and that as a result my copy was significantly better.  It made me wonder if we each might want to resist the use of so many abbreviations as we communicate. After all, what's the real rush, if copy accuracy in fact would increase? I think part of the problem for me is that there are several different abbreviations for the same word out there, and my mind may slow down as I encounter a bit of  a delay while I "find" the right corresponding word.  I don't suggest avoiding all of them, but I, for one, am going to try to reduce their use, under the theory that it may make the other guy's copy a bit easier. What do you think?

Dave
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 06:09:14 AM »

ur rit
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KE3WD
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 11:24:16 AM »

Just keep on doing it, the abbreviations will come, just like the full copy has.
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N2EY
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 01:17:35 PM »

IMHO:

Abbreviations are part of the fun of CW. Used properly, they permit a conversation to proceed well above the actual code speed.

There's also a long history to them, dating back to landwire and American Morse days. For example, the use of "es" for "and" comes from the American Morse for "&". Our prosign "SK" (sent as one character) comes from the same numeral code that gave us "73"  - except "SK" comes from "30", meaning "end of work".

Finally there's the cool-geezer factor. I'm 55, and young folks are amazed (and sometimes alarmed!) that I can understand their text messages without them having to translate for me. Of course they think they invented word-crunching abbreviations....

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 06:13:23 PM »

FB OM UR 599 HR IN LA OP STEVE WX SUNNY ES 80 DEG SO HW?
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N3QE
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 03:19:48 PM »

I'm sure that 99% of the senders that use perfectly normal written english with punctuation, are probably sending the CW using a keyboard and a computer screen and not a key.

There is a certain economy of CW sending such that you don't spend too much time with dead air not knowing what to say next. It is indeed sometimes hard to send CW and think at the same time, especially until you are practiced. My kids come up to me and want me to talk to them while I'm having a good CW QSO, and honestly I cannot hold two conversations at the same time and I actually have to pick one or the other.

Most RST/name/QTH exchanges have the bad habit of repeating everything at least twice. This makes sense for the novices out there and is probably why all the handbooks recommend this form, but so many folks hold onto the habit long past it is doing any good. There are exceptions among the more able ops, especially when they recognize that the op at the other end is quite able as well. Then they'll just send everything once and let the other side ask for fills.
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N2EY
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2009, 04:11:51 PM »

R TU 599 WAYNE PA OP JIM WX COOL ES CLR RIG 100W HOMEBREW TO INV VEE 37 FT UP HW?
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WA8JNM
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2009, 04:43:56 PM »

OK.  But, I still think that an overabundance of abbreviations may make copying more difficult.  I understand that the very common ones, such as "es", "op", the prosigns, and the q-signs are easy and useful.  But, "thanks" can be either tnx, tu, or maybe others.  "Watts" may be w, of wt, or wts, etc. "Cloudy" can be several letter combinations. So can "clear". Zero can be the actual character, or one dash, or (worse, for me) the letter o.

I'm not complaining; I love CW.  But for me, lots of abbreviations seem to slow down my copying.  And, they tend to make the communication less personal, I think. (See some of the humorous examples in this thread. Pretty dry, don't you think?)

In the final analysis, what's the rush, in a ragchew?

Dave
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AD7WN
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2009, 06:39:39 PM »

Abbreviations are fine as long as they are generally accepted abbreviations.  The problem is that too many folks like to invent their own abbreviations.  That's fine as long as the qso is qrs.  But at 35 wpm there isn't much time to puzzle over a self-styled abbreviation or prosign.  A qrq qso requires use of generally accepted abbreviations or simply spell the full word out.

73 de John/AD7WN
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F6DXE
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 10:46:57 AM »

I tend to agree with you, no rush in a normal chat in your own language, this is what I do in french, using all kind of punctuation and extended characters like é à ç etc.
But not every one can communicate with ease in a foreign language and this is where abreviations become
 handy, provided that the abreviation is known by both parties :-)

Sincerely,

Didier (Dick) F6DXE
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KE3WD
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2009, 03:39:32 PM »

"Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."
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W0NHH
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2009, 07:58:10 PM »

I believe that anyone who inflicts homemade abbreviations on another op should be beat to death with a ball bat.  Then he should have his key shoved....
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WA8JNM
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Posts: 170




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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2009, 04:26:09 AM »

<<I believe that anyone who inflicts homemade abbreviations on another op should be beat to death with a ball bat. Then he should have his key shove>>

Well, perhaps a little too harsh.

But, that brings up an interesting point.  Maybe it is the "homemade" abbreviations that slow me down.  But what constitutes "homemade"?  For example, is the correct abbreviation for "watts" "w" or "wt" or "wts" or "wtts"?  Are they all "homemade"?  Multiply this example by many, and I think it affects my speed, as I am getting faster.  

This is no big deal to me, but I have never seen a discussion of this question.

Dave
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W5ESE
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2009, 08:28:26 AM »

I tend to stick with the standard abbreviations; the
ones in ARRL FSD-218:

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/forms/fsd218.html

and FSD-220:

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/forms/fsd220.html

I've had to learn more about the cut numbers since
participating in the contest where the DX stations
send their power (ARRL DX, I think it is), and
several more when I began traffic handling in CW
(WA=Word After, WB=Word Before, etc).

I consider that just part of growing in the hobby.

73
Scott
W5ESE
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 12:11:49 PM »

" believe that anyone who inflicts homemade abbreviations on another op should be beat to death with a ball bat. Then he should have his key shoved.... "

Tell us how you really feel. Don't sugar coat it.

hihi
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