Monday, July 23, 2012

Librarian writes world’s only Encyclopedia of Abbreviations

Do you look at confusing and unfamiliar acronyms and abbreviations and wonder whom to ask? The International Encyclopedia of Abbreviations (IEA) might help you. The recently launched book, authored by I B Verma, a retired librarian, includes commonly used abbreviations and their expanded forms along
with some brief information about them. 

In a first-of-its-kind initiative internationally, the book has around 8,000 abbreviations arranged in alphabetical order, with cross referenced entries, and it is divided in two volumes. Verma says that his interaction with students revealed that the haphazard growth of abbreviations and their increased usage was creating confusion in the minds of readers. Due to the absence of authentic reference tools, reference librarians were ill-equipped to assist them. 

“When I worked as a librarian, students approached me with queries regarding abbreviations and I had to look for sources to help them. I realized that the problem is faced by students everywhere and this inspired me to compile a comprehensive dictionary containing local, national and international abbreviations,” says Verma. 

His earlier work on the subject includes Sterling’s Encyclopedia of Abbreviations, a book released in 1998, but the book was not marketed in north India. Verma has sent requisitions to the education department of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for school and college libraries to keep his book for referencing. 

“It is a compilation of several years of collected reading material from books, newspapers, dvertisements, prospectuses of organizations and even scraps and bills. There is no end to abbreviations but I have tried to include the popular ones,” he says. 

Verma also writes in Hindi and his aim is to spread book culture among students. He expresses his optimism regarding the competition the book faces from websites and other internet sources. “Every technology has its constraints. Even in the internet age, people will like to possess the book as it has a permanent value.”