Acronyms move me to an unholy rage. Science writing is lousy with them. And who wants to write out adenosine 5′-triphosphate when you can write ATP instead?
One of the copyeditor’s jobs is to make sure all acronyms are spelled out on first use. Sounds easy, right? Hell no. Especially when your author spells out her acronyms in the figure captions, which are near the end of the paper.
I’ve read the whole thing wondering what MAP stands for so I know how to punctuate around it, I’ve spent ten minutes searching Google and the Journal’s archives and come up with nada, and I’ve written out a query for the author to expand MAP only to find the goddamned expansion at the end of the paper. Thanks, author.
Is it such a difficult concept to add the expansion to the acronym the first time it is used? And, yes, I’m a little testy, but I’ve spent my whole day changing “While” to “Although”. Wouldn’t you?
[Clarification: “While” should be used to indicate time only. On second thought, that rule is more rigorously applied in technical/scientific writing than creative writing.]