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September 20th, 2012, 04:36 PM #1
A quick question to American forumites about venereal disease.
Ahem. The web doesn't seem to rate any searches for the acronym 'VD' very highly, which tells me that a US audience might not be used to them (preferring 'STI' or 'STD') in this context. As a USA citizen, if you read the initials 'VD' would you think straight away of venereal disease, or something else (or nothing at all)?
Thank you for your time - your answers will sway the course of a story.
September 20th, 2012, 05:14 PM #2
VD doesn't mean anything to me. STD is what we use around here in Canada. I guess it's not US but pretty close.
September 20th, 2012, 05:39 PM #3
I think that VD is an older term. It makes me think of WWIIor maybe the old TV show Mash. STD or STI is a more current term.
September 20th, 2012, 05:53 PM #4
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September 20th, 2012, 07:49 PM #5
Venereal disease is still used as a term and the branch of medicine for it still uses the Latin term, but STD for sexually transmitted disease and STI for sexually transmitted infections became the regular clinical terms and so that's what gets usually used today. The switch occurred around the 1990's. If you use VD, some folks will still know what it is, but a lot of younger ones, as noted, won't.
September 21st, 2012, 03:14 AM #6
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You can assume your readers will understand an abbreviation only if it's very widely used, such as US or USA or FBI or CIA. And even then only in the country or culture where it's widely used. Brits recognize MI5 and MI6 as their equivalents of the FBI and CIA. Few non-Brits will.
The first time you use an abbreviation spell it out. Or use a phrase that makes the meaning clear. Then you can use the abbreviation.
The exception is within dialogue. Use what your characters would use. But make sure outside the dialogue you make the meaning clear.