What Does 1H CY2008 Mean? Acronyms Should Be Banned

February 4, 2008

I really hate all these acronyms and jargon that people steep in their particular corporate culture like to use. Take “1H CY2008” for example. Microsoft says Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be out in 1H CY2008. So what does H mean? And does CY mean current year? If it’s current year, why add 2008? How many current years are there anyway?

Acronyms and jargon are an impediment to communication. Particularly when you communicate to outsiders, or people on the fringe.

Anyway, I found out that the “H” means “half” – so “1H” means first half. I had to google it. Microsoft’s internal search engine yielded nothing. I still have no idea what CY stands for. I’m sure it’s something logical, but isn’t it easier to simply use plain English and have everybody understand immediately what you said? (You did intend to communicate, didn’t you, and not just utter sounds?)

[Update] As DF noted below, “CY” stands for “Calendar Year”. Why can’t they simply have omitted “CY” then, and avoid confusing people? Good grief. Who goes around thinking of “financial year” in conversations/announcements about non-accounting matters? A year, is by default, a calendar year. Everything else has to be specified. If you want to clarify that it’s a calendar year in a normal non-accounting or non-specialist context, then say “calendar year” and not “CY” which confuses things even more.

Filed in Windows, Software, Language, Opinion.