Dod101 wrote:Could I suggest that we make it a convention of these Boards that EPICs (or the use of the London Stock Exchange codes for shares) are only used after the full name for a particular security has been used the first time? So for example, if a poster refers to Scottish Investment Trust, he/she adds (SCIN) after the name and thereafter may use the SCIN reference. I know I have posted as a bitter lemon on this topic but I am being perfectly serious. Some of us at least, do not carry all of these codes in our heads, and so, especially if we get an unusual code we can sometimes have no idea what the poster is referring to.
That means a lot of research to get the answer and sometimes that means that the point is lost.
In addition to the other replies, I'll just add that what you describe is just one specific example of a more general and well recognised issue for any who creates text or speech (journalists, book authors, script writers, play writers, speech writers, etc).
The more general issue is about what level of technical / specialist words to use. And the choice is complex.
For example, some people may deliberately choose technical or specialist words that they know their readers won't
understand, purely to give themselves an air of 'authority' - to position themselves as being more expert. Though in those cases, typically the writer won't make comprehension of the whole text contingent on the reader understanding those technical words.
More generally though, the writer (whether they realise it or not) has to make a judgement call as to what level of technical / specialist words the target audience will understand.
And there's no right or wrong answer - it's always a judgement call on the author, taking into account their intended audience.
Just consider how if you were to take a typical newspaper article now, after a year and a half of pandemic reporting, many terms that would have been considered specialist at the beginning of the pandemic with their use always previously necessitating an explanation for a general audience, are now being treated as likely known by most people. This is just an example of how specialist and technical words can enter common usage and then be assumed understood to non-specialists.
In the case of tickers on a board dedicated to investing, where the same stocks and tickers come up frequently, I'd suggest it would often be reasonable to just go straight to using the ticker without further explanation, if the ticker is a commonly used on the boards, or at least the board in question at the time, or fairly obvious from the context.
I think people should only really need to clarify if it's an unusual ticker that isn't (as of yet) oft used on the board in question or the boards in general.
And it should be really up to the author to make the judgement - a good author should be thinking about their audience, and adapting their vocabulary to suit that audience.
To be honest, I think most use of tickers on these boards works quite well. If someone is aware that a ticker has been used previously quite often on different threads on the same board, then it would seem a bit OTT (that's "over the top"
) to have to spell it out at the first use in every new thread.
IME (that's "in my experience"
) , it's not often that someone uses an unfamiliar ticker (for anyone unfamiliar, a "ticker" or "EPIC" is a character code that is used to identify a stock listing on a stock market instead of the full company name
) - that's to say one that doesn't crop up regularly on these boards - and I can't help think most of the time when someone does use an unfamiliar ticker, it's probably a new poster who's trying to fit in with the styles as they observe it, but perhaps don't realise that the ticker they're bringing to the party isn't one regulars will be familiar with.
I think there are perhaps also one or two who throw around obscure tickers to deliberately try to appear 'clever', but I don't think that happens often.
In either case though, someone will usually then ask for clarification which would then be visible to everyone.
If someone new comes along then the issue isn't only the tickers, it's the more general language used as well. A newbie might not understand what ex-dividend is, but we don't spell it out every time we refer to it. We don't explain 'total return', 'dividend yield' or 'capital gain' each time we use them, but to someone not familiar with the world of shares, these might be words they aren't familiar with. And so on.
In essence the boards, and to an extent each individual board, will naturally settle to a level common understanding of, and use of, language. It's what happens in every situation where language is used. Whether it's colleagues in a workplace, family at home, etc. All groups ultimately and most of the time without realising it, settle on a common form of language when communicating in that group - and the same individual could be in different groups and will (again often without even consciously realising it) adapt their speech to the specific group at the specific time.
It's what naturally happens with language.
And imv, I think we should just let that natural process play out, since most of the time, most of us know the tickers - or other financial technical terms - that contributors use.
And the few times that someone does use a ticker, or other technical term that people aren't familiar with, someone familiar with the board and recognising that it isn't a commonly recognised thing, will usually pipe up and ask the person using it for clarification.
And then if it becomes used regularly, it then will eventually become part of the recognised vocabulary that can be assumed to be understood / recognised without the need for clarification each time.
In other words - it's a fluid thing... not just relating to tickers, but to other technical words as well... imv (that's "in my view"
) I don't really see a big problem in this respect on these boards... language is evolving all the time, and I don't think it's posing any major problem... it seems to be evolving just as language always has done and always will do.