C++ FAQ Celebrating Twenty-One Years of the C++ FAQ!!!
(Click here for a personal note from Marshall Cline.)
Section 6:
[6.18] What should I tell people who complain that the word "FAQ" is misleading, that it emphasizes the questions rather than the answers, and that we should all start using a different acronym?

Tell them to grow up.

Some people want to change the word "FAQ" to a different acronym, such as something emphasizing the answers rather than the questions. However a word or phrase is defined by its usage. Multitudes of people already understand "FAQ" as a word in its own right. Think of it as a moniker for an idea rather than an acronym. As a word, "FAQ" already means a list of common questions and answers.

Do not take this as an encouragement to use words sloppily. Quite the opposite. The point is that clear communication involves using words that everybody already understands. Getting into a contest over whether we should change the word "FAQ" is silly and a waste of time. It would be one thing if the word wasn't already well known, but it no longer makes sense after so many people already understand it.

An (imperfect) analogy: the character '\n' is almost universally known as the linefeed character, yet very few programmers today work with computers equipped with a teletype that actually does a "line feed." Nobody cares anymore; it's a linefeed character; get over it. And '\r' is the carriage return, even though your computer might not have a carriage that returns. Live with it.

Another (imperfect) analogy is RAII. Thanks to the excellent work of Andy Koenig, Bjarne Stroustrup, and others, the name "RAII" has become very widely known in the C++ community. "RAII" represents a very valuable concept and you ought to use it regularly. However, if you dissect "RAII" as an acronym, and if you look (too?) closely at the words making up that acronym, you will realize that the words are not a perfect match for the concept. Who cares?!? The concept is what's important; "RAII" is merely a moniker used as a handle for that concept.

Details: If you dissect the words of the RAII acronym (Resource Acquisition Is Initialization), you will think RAII is about acquiring resources during initialization. However the power of RAII comes not from tying acquisition to initialization, but from tying reclamation to destruction. A more precise acronym might be RRID (Resource Reclamation Is Destruction), perhaps DIRR (Destruction Is Resource Reclamation), but since so many people already understand RAII, using it properly is far more important than complaining about the term. RAII is a moniker for an idea; its precision as an acronym is secondary.

(What's really important in acronyms is how cool they sound. Clearly "RRID" and "DIRR" are therefore better! Just kidding.)

So treat the word "FAQ" as a moniker that already has a well established, well known meaning. A word is defined by its usage.