Enclosure (1) to COMDTINST 5230.42A
Rule 8: Abbreviations/acronyms shall not be permitted unless: (1) a data element name
exceeds the maximum length of 250 characters; or (2) the abbreviation/acronym is so commonly
used in place of the whole expression that the expression is better known by its abbreviated form.
Rule 9: Only alphanumeric characters are permitted to create the words in a data element
name, with blanks used to separate the words in the name. Hyphens are permitted only when used
to create new words necessary to represent the exact meaning of a data element (see examples in
Appendix C). Exceptions: Numbers may not be used as the first character of a word in a data
Rule 10: Block titles, line titles and column headings contained on forms, listings or
reports shall not be used as data element names unless such titles or headings fulfill the
requirements of a data element name as described herein.
Rule 11: Directives, forms, report control symbols, screens and product control numbers
shall not be used in data element names since they are restrictive and subject to change.
Rule 12: Data element names shall not reference a specific computer, information system
or organization name.