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Utilizing Abbreviations And Their Concepts In Administration, By Yusuf Alhaji Lawan

FILE: Yusuf Alhaji Lawan, Public affairs analyst. 

The advent of computer in office administration brings about significant improvement, and serves as technology advancement globally, which eased the stress experienced with manual operations.

 This development rendered typewriters almost unrequired, positioning them at the verge of extinction. The fact that typewriter has no memory to store information, has given it the main reason not to totally go extinct, giving rise for its usefulness in the production of sensitive documents that are deemed top secrets in administration circle of some nations in the world today. 

A good number of administrative procedures and styles have attachment with the use of typewriter which are not incorporated in the study of computer, making the upcoming generation miss useful knowledge. This development necessitated the need to expose employees to on-the-job and off-the-job trainings as key that will help close the gap in organizations;  governmental and non governmental.

There are terminologies, abbreviations and concepts as well as a distinct language used in official communication which administrators, would-be administrators and confidential secretaries should acquaint themselves with, for professionalism and seamless office activities. The concepts are hitherto relevant and valid for use, although, nowadays, little attention is paid to some of these which opens door for mishandling of official documents and allows unprofessionalism to intrude the system, hence the decision to put few of these down.

i. CC: It stands for Carbon Copy and is commonly used in official communication. It works when a letter or document is addressed to a party(ies) and need exist for other person(s) or parties to be aware of the content, "CC" is written after the close of the letter/document with a list beneath. This implies that the addressee is aware that those listed are also served with same copy.

In typewriting, two sheets of papers are used during typing, while the keys stroke the front page to produce the content, the back page serves as cover for protection. When a need exist for another copy of the same document, a carbon sheet (usually black/dark blue in colour) is inserted in between the two sheets. The front paper being the original while the second is called Carbon Copy. In situations where the number of the carbon copies needed exceed one, more carbon sheets are added in between the papers to get the required copies. 

The Carbon Copy was a form of duplicating typed documents when typewriter was the major typing system and later became photocopier after the advent of computer.

ii. BCC: It stands for Blind Carbon Copy. This is aptly uncommon in some quotas. Unlike the "CC" where the addressee is informed that a copy is with the parties mentioned, in "Bcc", the addressee is totally unaware that other person(s) share same correspondence with him as nothing is indicated in the letter. However, it is the duplicate copy that carries "Bcc" on it after closing which informs the party served with the document that the addressee is not aware a copy is out. This is used for some administrative purposes.

Blind Carbon Copy allows the sender of a message to conceal the person entered in the "Bcc field" from the recipients. This concept originally applied to paper correspondence and now also applies to email. When an address is placed in the "Bcc field" of a message, those addresses are invisible to the recipient of the mail.

iii. UFS: It stands for Under Flying Seal which is used in official letter, in situations where a document has to pass through more than an officer. When the first address is written, "Ufs:" comes after, then next address, "Ufs:" until the last. It signifies that the letter has to get to the officer with the last address first for comment, minute, endorsement, etc before the next acts. It is instead of the use of "Ufs" that the word "through" is used which is found to be common.  "Through" is also good but "Ufs" is better.

Under Flying Seal also called Unix Filling System and Universal Filling System. It works on a letter with a seal attached but not closed, so that it may be read by a person who is requested to forward the document(s) or information he/she has received. 

iv. NB: This stands for Nota Bene which was originally a Latin phrase meaning "note well". It is often abbreviated as "NB" and first used in English in 1711. It is also translated as "take note" or "mark well". It is used in endnotes or footnotes to call the reader's attention to a particular important piece of information.

v. RSVP: This stands for Repondez S'il Vous Plait. RSVP is an initialism of the French phrase which directly translates to "respond, if you please".  The initialism is often used to confirm attendance for an event. It signifies that the host requests the guest to respond if the invitation would be honoured.

Proper utilisation of abbreviations, concepts and terminologies in administration provides an avenue for administrators to act positively, communicate appropriately, prove competence and create impact in every given schedule.

Lawan, a public affairs analyst wrote from Hausawa Asibiti Ward, Potiskum Yobe State.

The writer can be reached via nasidi30@gmail.com.

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