Is it OK to say PDFs
Is it OK to say “PDFs” instead of “PDF files” or “PDF documents”? A colleague, Paul, and I were discussing this crucial question a few days ago.
How about “emails” instead of “email messages”? Or, horror of horrors, “XMLs” instead of “XML files”? Believe it or not, I’ve seen that one crop up in our documentation. I’ve yet to see or hear anyone talk about “HTMLs” but even that’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. 😉
Actually, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing “emails” and can even be heard to use that word myself on occasion. But I still try to steer clear of it in technical documentation. The use of “PDFs” irks me, and I doubt if I’ll ever like “XMLs”. But never say never.
Paul and I decided that our primary aim is to make sure the meaning is clear and to avoid annoying our readers. After all, as technical writers, we want to give people a smooth ride through the text.
What do you think?
Am I being a stickler for detail?
Talking of sticks, this gorgeous visitor appeared on our postbox a few days ago. It’s a stick insect. I put the peg there to give an idea of scale. The stick insect has six legs, two of which are close together on the right hand side of the picture. Its head is on the left.