Same reason really good note-takers develop a shorthand. It's just faster that way.
Abbreveations are generally good when they're well-choosen, but poorly-choosen ones suck the big one.
IBM midrange systems are riddled with bad abbreveations. Could you tell me what a file named "HREMFP" is supposed to have in it? This is an actual file name in a beginners book for midrange programmers/admins that I was given. (And trust me, the name isn't clear from any of the context in the surrounding chapter, either). They love to keep to about 6 characters per file name, weather it could be made shorter or needs to be longer.
Part of this is technical limitations of the platform, but the limitations seem to be so ingrained in the midrange community that I doubt people would start using sane naming standards even if the technical problems went away.
"There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.
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