In time long past, life was simpler and technology limited. Reviewers of papers submitted to scientific journals rejected articles laced with abbreviations. Reviewers rightly considered that such short cuts created lack of clarity or caused confusion for many readers.

With constitutional changes, public policy permitted government to intrude further into society. Governmental agencies proliferated and the bureaucracy burgeoned. Soon these agencies were referred to by abbreviations (eg, DHHS, GAO, DOE, NIAAA, etc). This governmental abbreviation literacy developed by the bureaucrats tended to shield, or at least separate, them from interacting with other citizens. Some harsh critics of this development suggested that bureaucrats encouraged this trend as a way of covering up inherent inefficiencies in certain agencies under the facade of an efficient title.

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