Abbreviation Hell

Today I was looking through a textbook of transportation technology which is used in the lecture in the Univ. Then I remembered a little thing happened in the lecture last week.

At the end of the lecture we were asked to fill an answer sheet with a few questions about what we had learned on that day and submit it to the professor, before we go out.
All questions were easy, and its answers were written in the textbook. Possibly it was not to evaluate a student’s ability, but only to test “whether he read the textbook enough.”

Then a student, with whom I had never talked before, came to me and asked, “Excuse me, can you answer this question?”
“This” was as follows: How many devices could be connected and how many communications could made at the same time through ISDN?
I showed him the answer, that is, where on the textbook it was written.

Now I don’t think he was such lazy that he would not read the textbook. Instead, I guess, he was upset, facing with the abbreviation ISDN – a term in the past.

It was more than a decade, that in Japan ISDN was introduced as the next generation of internet connection, superior to the conventional telephone wire. The major merit of it was “Daddy can see the web while Mom is talking on the phone.” On the other hand, the communication was not so fast. A few years later ISDN was mostly replaced with DSL. At that time, the student must have been infant.

When I was a student, I had to cope with a lot of “new” technical terms expressed in abbreviation. Students nowadays would be to handle “old” terms in addition. That will be more difficult, because they will never experience what they really would be.


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