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Very nice post! Elio’s comment made me laugh. In the early 1990’s I joined a dental microbiology lab as a postdoc. I knew very little about dental bacteriology and the second week at the lab, the American Association for Dental Research held its annual meeting in my new city. The first symposium I attended was on the bacteriology of periodontal disease. The first speaker spoke for 15 minutes about “AA”, “PG” and “TD” without mentioning the name of the species he spoke about. I was more perplexed when people in the audience asked him questions using the same “code”. It was not until the next day that I learned, in the poster sessions, that AA = Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, PG = Porphyromonas gingivalis, and TD = Treponema denticola. To this day, dental bacteriologists still have this bad habit (in my opinion). I now teach in a dental school and I go out of my way to avoid using these abbreviations.

Elio replies: I am also allergic to acronyms, so by me it's not OK to ID the EAs (etiological agents) that way. Thanks for sharing the story.

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