Companies love their acronyms and initialisms. The thinking seems to be, why waste your breath to say the full words when you can abbreviate?

Thus I am working on revising an article today that contains three acronyms I had not yet seen. (I keep a list for this client because there are so many, and because I am a big believer in spelling things out to help everyone understand.) Plus the the article contained the always entertaining Randomly Capitalized Words.

The alarming trend to abbreviate is making its way to company names, too. Why say Hudson’s Bay Company and Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation when you can dash off the (presumably) chic, stylish and short HBC and  OLG? And banks — is there a Bank of Montreal or Royal Bank of Canada that hasn’t turned into BMO and RBC?

I once attended a talk by Naseem Javed, founder of ABC Namebank, in which he railed against the trend to abbreviate. He suggested it stops potential customers from understanding who you are and what you do. In the case of HBC, you are also casually sweeping aside a long history important to Canada.