Q. I am proofing an engineering document. There is a section titled “System Engineering Instruction Team (SEIT).” However, this acronym is already defined in the body of a previous section. The argument is that the section in question should simply be titled “SEIT.” However, I don’t think the section title should be reduced to “SEIT” because the reader may not know what SEIT means upon first glance at the table of contents. I say it’s okay to redefine the acronym if it suddenly becomes the title of a major section. Is it ever okay to redefine an acronym after it has already been defined?
A. Of course it’s okay! What good is a rule that says you can’t help the reader when it seems like a good idea? Redefine an acronym whenever a reader might reasonably have forgotten it.