E -- Natural Sciences, Technology, Medicine


International encyclopedia of abbreviations and acronyms in science and technology = Internationale Enzyklopädie der Abkürzungen und Akronyme in Wissenschaft und Technik. Founded by Peter Wennrich. Compiled by Michael Peschke (beginning with vol. 2). München [et al.]: Saur. 30 cm. ISBN 3-598-22970-4: DM 2240.00

Vol. 2. Db-Gb. 1996. viii, 347 p. ISBN 3-598-22972-0: DM 280.00
Vol. 3. Gc-Iz. 1997. viii, 354 p. ISBN 3-598-22973-9: DM 280.00
Vol. 4. J-Mu. 1997. xviii, 351 p. ISBN 3-598-22974-7: DM 280.00
Vol. 5. Mv-Po. 1997. xviii, 360 p. ISBN 3-598-22975-5: DM 280.00
Vol. 6. Pp-Sf. 1997. viii, 349 p. ISBN 3-598-22976-3: DM 280.00
Vol. 7. Sg-Th. 1998. viii, 368 p. ISBN 3-598-22977-1: DM 280.00
Vol. 8. Ti-Z. 1998. viii, 352 p. ISBN 3-598-22978-X: DM 280.00

The first volume of this work (A-Da, 1996) was thoroughly reviewed (and roundly criticized) in RREO 96-1-120. The original creator of this encyclopedia, Peter Wennrich, an inveterate collector of abbreviations who has published other large-scale works like this, has found a congenial successor in compiler Michael Peschke.

The foreword to volume 1 (reproduced verbatim in successive volumes) states that the eight volumes will contain ca. 680,000 abbreviations and "the most important acronyms from the various areas of work and life as inclusively as possible." The 1994 pre-publication announcement promises a "careful and systematic analysis of countless specialized publications . . . especially of English-language provenance." Collecting abbreviations only from Roman-alphabet languages does not exclude, however, Cyrillic-alphabet Slavic-language abbreviations encountered in transliterated form. Volume 8 contains a large number of journal-title abbreviations beginning with Tr (for Trudy . . .). To be sure, these do not reside altogether in one place (because of typographical miscalculations) but are separated by numerous other abbreviations and acronyms. Such is also the case with, for example, Trans (for Transactions) and Trav (for Travaux).

Thus one might ask how meaningful it is to include periodical-title abbreviations here at all when other special abbreviation indexes (e.g., the three titles reviewed in RREO 97-3/4-273-275) already serve this purpose. That there are far more abbreviations for Zeitschrift . . . titles than appropriate for even a miserable agglomeration like this shows how arbitrary the final product is. The inclusion of titles like Zeitschrift für Assyriologie (ZfAss) or Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde (ZfBFr) shows that the compiler does not even stick to the limitations that the title might impose. Or is this a work in progress, and might we expect at some later date the true ultimate in abbreviation indexes to emerge from the compiler's computer, one unrestricted to any subject, similar to Alfred H. Sokoll's Handbuch der Abkürzungen: ein umfassendes Nachschlagewerk für alle Bibliotheken, Institute, Industriebetriebe und Verwaltungen (München: Alkos-Verlag, 1990-<1997>), the work of a similarly impassioned abbreviation collector? A less space-consuming CD-ROM edition would serve no purpose because it would not change any of the fundamental shortcomings of the work at hand. [sh/ga]

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