Some people use the abbreviation MMA extensively on Mathematica.SE, and possibly elsewhere. Some find it less clear/informative/elegant. I always found it sloppy, and seeing the comments here prompted me to write this post. Should there be a policy handling MMA, Mma, mma, etc. abbreviations?
Why shouldn't we replace MMA with Mathematica:
- Writing MMA is definitely faster for the poster and editing posts takes time for the editor;
- Seems like everyone knows this abbreviation (and those not knowing it could easily find this);
- Editing posts to replace MMA with Mathematica unnecessarily bumps these questions.
Why should we replace:
- The official name of the software is Mathematica (ok, I ignored the (R) symbol);
- Editing is usually harmless;
- Using MMA might puzzle/confuse/perplex/flummox new users;
- Unnecessary abbreviations contribute to obscurity: I remember that once I thought
mmais actually a variable introduced by the poster and it took me some tome to figure it out;
- I don't mind if some posts are moved to the top due to an edit;
- I don't mind editing posts, and just like cormullion does, I change these whenever I encounter them during a revision.
- For my personal taste, Mathematica integrates much better with text than MMA (or mma, etc.) and looks more seamless.
- Should we replace abbreviations retrospectively by editing posts?
- Should one only replace MMA when a post is being edited for some other major reason and otherwise leave them be to prevent bumping?
- Should we discourage the use of this abbreviation?
- Could/should there be a site-specific shortcut so that any user-input mma is immediately translated to Mathematica?
- Do we have to care about the whole thing? Certainly: there are people who feel offended by such a minor edit done by someone else, and I can understand them - but I can understand those editing the posts as well.
(As a matter of fact, I never write out Mathematica letter-by-letter: I have an Autohotkey script that immediately replaces the hotstring
mma. I had a hard time writing this post suppressing these hotstrings).