OMG Architects Are Natural Texters… or Not


It recently occurred to me why I enjoy texting my daughter so much… creating construction documents and texting are so similar. You start with a blank canvas whether it be a 24” x 36” sheet of mylar, (well today it is my desktop computer), or your phone screen and you start to create drawings and information versus dialogue and emojis. What is unique about the architectural experience is that my drawings are full of abbreviations, which is common throughout the industry. Let’s take a look at just a few that cross over but not in the same way, (guess which one is an architects’ abbreviation);

ACC: access or anyone can come

ADD: addendum or address

AT: asphalt tile or at terminal

ATM: automated teller machine or at the moment

B: bathroom or be/back

BD: board or big deal

BM: bench mark or bite me

BOT: bottom or back on topic

CB: catch basin or coffee break (this one has a few others lol)

CM: centimeter or call me

CRS: course (s) or can’t remember sh*t

DA: double acting or “the”

DF: drinking fountain or don’t even go there

DH: double hung or darling husband

DL: dead load or download (hey that one was close!)

DS: downspout or darling son

FB: face brick or Facebook

FF: finish floor or follow Friday

FRT: fire retardant or for real though

GA: gauge or go ahead

GAL: galvanized or get a life

GB: grab bar or goodbye

GL: glazing or get a life

GT: grout or good try

HW: hot water or homework

INS: insulation or I’m not sure

JC: janitor’s closet or just chilling

JT: joint or just teasing

KIT: kitchen or keep in touch

NTS: not to scale or note to self

OH: overhead or overheard

OJ: open joist or only joking

OP: opaque or on phone

QT: quarry tile or cutie

R: riser or are

SH: shelf or same here

SQ: square or square (eureka! We have a match)

SS: stainless steel or so sorry

SYS: system or see you soon

TOJ: top of joist or tears of joy

UR: urinal or you’re

WB: wood base/wallboard or welcome back

WC: water closet or welcome


So after over 30 years of using abbreviations everyday it’s needless to say my daughter does not always understand my texts for instance one time I was telling her about the toilet overflowing and the damage it caused…