Initials

Author(s): 
Dr Anthony Rubin, Retired Anaesthetist, London UK
Declaration of interest: 
None declared

Dear Editor,

I was always taught that the first time initials are used in an article, the full title with the initials in brackets should be used. Then further in to the article it becomes permissible to use just the initials.

While I accept that certain initials are so widely known that they might be considered exceptions, e.g. NHS, GMC or NICE, I still think that for the enlightenment of the more out of touch readers of the Bulletin, other initials should be defined!  I was stimulated to write this by the recent editorial by Dr Nigel Penfold where the undefined initials FPM, eLfH, eLA, ATRG, SEA UK, CRC all appear.  I will forgive him of course for expecting us to know who J-P is!!!  Similarly in a letter on pages 48/49, while MDU/MPS, MI, VF and GTN probably could join the exceptions, what about FAA, EASA, and AED?

I apologise if my suggestion merely adds extra words, lines etc to the Bulletin articles, but as an academic body we should strive to maintain standards.

A reply from the Editor, Dr Nigel Penfold
It is always humbling to be corrected by one of one’s own mentors. Much of what Tony taught me regarding obstetric anaesthesia still holds me (and my patients) in good stead, and of course he is right in this respect and we can only apologise. However i must disagree with his suggestion that J-P should be an exception given that we now have two J-P’s on Council, one being Jean-Pierre the President and the other J-P being John-Paul Lomas, the new trainee representation on Council. Its never straight forward being the Editor!