Technique Naming Standardization

Author’s Notes:
I must admit that I lost the encouragement to write this along the way, which explains why the last subsections are very short.
The most important issue is in fact, presenting the problems found in the current naming system. However my suggestion might not reach the intended objective, because most people I talked to think that changing it is not a good idea.
Even so, please comment and ponder about it.

A Suggestion for Technique Naming Standardization
Author: Tggtt
The use of acronyms is common in the lucid dreaming communities, however, even that these acronyms may be simple, they are often misleading and even members used to their usage may confuse their definitions. In this post, I discuss the problem, show the results of an experiment and propose a new naming system for techniques.
keywords: Acronyms, Technique Names, Standard, Syntax.

The book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” (LaBerge and Rheingold, 1990) has descriptions of DILD’s, MILD’s and WILD’s.
However, even that these acronyms may sound simple, an experiment showed that they may be misleading, not only for beginners, but also for experienced members of LD4all.

After studying the naming of techniques and dream categories, a perfect naming should have the following attributes (but not limited to):
• The naming system should be capable of representing all possible techniques;
• The naming system should allow composability among compatible techniques and characteristics;
• The naming system should restrict or indicate incompatibility among techniques and characteristics;
• The naming system should not be ambiguous.

In this topic, a proposal is presented and it is has most of these attributes. The unsolved attributes are described on the “Conclusions” Section.
This post is structured as follows: in Section 2 there is the experiment report, in Section 3 there are Current Naming Problems, in Section 4 there is a sample Acronym Symbols Dictionary, in Section 5 Standard Sentence and in Section 6 there are the Conclusions.

Experiment Report
DILD is an acronym commonly used by the community and defined as the most common type of lucid dream by LaBerge and Levitan (1991).
Despite the frequent use of the acronym, an experiment showed that many members are not aware of its correct definition.
The experiment was conducted on June 26, 2011, involving 8 LD4all members (anonymously). Each member had to answer “What does DILD stand for?” quickly and without looking elsewhere. The following results were discovered:

• Five members answered “Dream Induced Lucid Dream” (62.5%);
• Two members answered “Dream Initiated Lucid Dream” (25%);
• One was unsure about the correct definition and preferred not to answer (12.5%).

Considering that the standard definition is “Dream Initiated Lucid Dream” and it is in fact a type of lucid dream and not a technique, the rate of incorrect answers (62.5%) is significantly high. However, that is not the only problem with the current naming system.

Current Naming Problems

In the Experiment Section, most of participants answered an incorrect definition while the standard definition of DILD is considered, that shows how ambiguous the current naming methods are.
The following issues regarding the current naming system can be identified:

• Letter Definition Ambiguity:

o When a letter has more than one acceptable definition, e.g. ‘I’ can stand for Induced and Initiated;

• Acronym Type Ambiguity:

o When a type of a acronym cannot be identified without looking at its definition, e.g. DILD is a type, while MILD is a technique (LaBerge, 1985);

• No Definition Standards:

o There is no rule on how to define a new acronym and definition, or to identify similarities to other acronyms and definitions just by looking at them.

• Incomposability:

o It is not possible to compose acronyms with different types and equal types of definitions and acronyms in a specific way.

The following sections are intended to supply solutions to the given problems.

Acronym Symbols Dictionary
The most obvious way to deal with the first category of problem, is defining a public acronym table, which will be used to identify the ideal letter (or sequence of letters) that can be employed when creating a new acronym.

For example, the following listing shows a suggestion of a dictionary that gathers all letters used in MILD, WILD and DILD:
• D: dream;
• I: induced or inducement;
• In: initiated;
• L: lucid;
• M: mnemonic;
• W: wake or awake;

Hence, when creating a new acronym, a user would look up the dictionary in order to make it “letter/symbol unambiguous”.

Standard Sentence
In this section, a sentence standard is proposed; it can be used to solve the following problems: “Acronym Type Ambiguity”, “No Definition Standards” and “Incomposability”.

There are three grammatical categories of acronyms, each of them with varied possible types:

• Nouns:

[left] o State descriptor or Achievable: names of anything that may occur. These are common in the lucid dream community, e.g.: dream.
o Static: names of entities that cannot happen: e.g.: sub-conscious, dream guild, member.[/left]
• Adjectives:

[left] o Common: adjectives found in the English language: effective, quick, soft.
o Specific: adjectives found in the community to categorize lucid dreams and possibly other entities, e.g.: lucid, shared, normal, non-lucid, Dream Initiated.[/left]
• Verbs:

[left] o Technique Descriptor: a verb that indicates a technique, e.g.: induced, assisted (transitive in past participle).
o Auxiliary: a verb used to turn a technique or definition more specific, e.g.: quicken, improved.
o Common: any other verb found in the English language.[/left]
• Adverbs:

o The same as in English;

• Prepositions:

o The same as in English.

These categories and types are important when specifying a new definition.

The Preface
In each standard sentence, there are one or more leading prefaces that can define either an noun, e.g.: “Character”, or within state, e.g.: “Upon Awakening” or a transition between states, e.g.: From wake to sleeping.

The state definition may be complex, however, allows several new compositions, since anything that describes a specific time or happening can be used as a state descriptor, e.g.: While doing a technique.

Final sentence
The syntax of the sentence is defined in this subsection. Words written on all capitalized letters must appear on the final sentence, while others are categories as defined in the “Types” subsection.
Techniques can be defined as follows:
Preface (optionally: AND more Prefaces) + Technique Descriptor Verb + optional Adjective + Achievable Noun + TECHNIQUE.

Where the Preface can be:
Noun (optionally: and more Nouns) or
State or
FROM State TO State.

Also, a Preposition can be inserted before Preface.

Then, in order to define a technique (according to this proposal) the standard sentence form must be followed. After it is defined, it should be possible to look up the acronym symbols dictionary.

For example, when creating a definition for a technique which objective is to induce a lucid dream that happens upon wakening, the following sentence would be created:
Upon awakening induced lucid dream technique.

Considering that the acronym symbol table has the following elements, each one with a given grammatical category (but not limited to):

• A: assisted; (Technique Verb)
• D: dream; (Achievable Noun)
• F: from; (State sentence word)
• I: induced; (Technique Verb)
• In: initiated; (Adjective)
• L: lucid; (Adjective)
• M: mnemonic; (Noun)
• N: normal; (Adjective)
• S: shared; (Adjective)
• Sl: asleep or sleeping or sleep; (Adjective, Verb or Noun)
• T: technique; (Technique sentence final word)
• To: to; (State sentence word)
• U: upon; (Preposition)
• W: wake or awake or wakening; (Noun or adjective)

The following acronym would be created:

As stated in previous sections, Dream Initiated Lucid Dream is in fact a category of dreams. Then Dream, Initiated and Lucid are adjectives and dream is an achievable noun. If the earlier technique would be used specifically for Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams, the acronym would be UWIDInLDT, which stands for:
Upon awakening induced dream initiated lucid dream technique.

The final acronym can both be used as a verb or as a noun, and can be composed into new sentences as a State Descriptor.

Since the final acronyms can be used as state descriptors, as long as it defines a time or occurrence, the earlier defined acronym may be combined into another sentences.
For example, considering that a technique based on mnemonics is created to help with achieving UWILDT, this acronym would be used as the achievable noun: MAUWILDTT would stand for:
Mnemonic Assisted UWILDT Technique.

However, if UWILDT is used to describe a state, for example: BUWILDTISD: Before UWILDT induced shared dream.

Conflict Discovery
While some techniques can be used together (composed), other may not. It is not a trivial activity; however, the standard form of the sentence can assist on the discovery, for instance:
Upon Awakening Induced Lucid Dream and Upon Sleeping Induced Lucid Dream have conflicting states.

In this topic, problems regarding the current acronym and definitions were exposed. Solutions were proposed to cope with the exposed problems.

• The acronym dictionary leads to dependencies among the members while defining and looking up a definition;
• It was not identified the completeness of the standard sentence, further suggestions are welcome;
• The proposed solution for composability is not very natural as recommended by the introduction.
• The proposal do not solves the ambiguity of a definition, for example, one technique may have more than one definition.

Despite the problems, it is expected that this post encourages the community to bring new ideas to the subject.

An important issue that it was not dealt in this post is (if possible): “How to naturally define the conflicts among the techniques”.

Thanks to Rhewin for encouraging me to post this on General Lucidity.

LaBerge, Stephen; Rheingold, Howard (1990). Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. ISBN 034537410X.
LaBerge, S. and Levitan, L. Other Worlds: Out-of-Body Experiences and Lucid Dreams. (NightLight newsletter, 1991)
LaBerge, Stephen. Lucid Dreaming: The power of being aware and awake in your dreams. ISBN 0874773423. (1985)

I really love this argument. As you mentioned, many time techniques get mistaken based on their naming, and types of dreams get mistaken for techniques. I know for the sake of ease and conformity you still have MILD and WILD listed as techniques, but I’m going to go into a little more detail on that.

Let’s look at my arch nemesis WILD. As it is, many members think Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD) is a technique. It is not. Let’s look at it. Wake, Induced and Lucid are all adjectives in this case. This is a type of dream, not a technique.

The reason it is important to realize this is because there are multiple ways to achieve a WILD. The most known way found in many guides is by laying still for the onset of SP and the formation of HI and a dream. However, I don’t usually lay perfectly still, instead doing what I can to stay aware as I fall asleep, bypassing the SP stage all together. These could be two techniques, but both result in a WILD.

Obviously this acronym is being used by my as a classification. If you look at my DJ, I never write I had an LD. I write that I had a WILD or MILD or VILD or whatever.

Where the confusion lies is that many times when people say WILD they are talking about the technique used to induce the WILD. It may not seem important to some, but if you think about it, it becomes more significant. As I said before, there are multiple ways to achieve a WILD. However, if the acronym WILD itself is seen as a technique, we eliminate the possibility for a variety of alternative WILD techniques.

Sadly, I don’t see the naming system changing since it’s heavily entrenched and convenient. I do, however, think that it is important that people think about what these acronyms mean. After all, they are convenient abbreviations, not names.

Thanks a lot for your encouragement.

I did my best to make it close enough to the original, then the technique to achieve WILD would be WILDT and etc.

Anyway, let’s wait until it gets more views.

Agh, seems I had the wrong definition. I skimmed it (a bit too long to read completely right now, as there’s *** hitting fans right now IRL and I still want to skim over the whole forum), and I think you have a good point here. I only said “induced” since that’s usually what the “I” stands for. I didn’t know the exact definition, so I guessed, but since I’m familiar with it, I knew that it was a type of dream and not a technique. To me, a DILD is from a random realization in a dream. I don’t usually classify my dreams, but if I’m talking about them on the forum, I have to have some sort of term. I like the idea, Tggtt. :content:

Lol, vera, The experiment was meant to be anonymous, anyway…

Earlier I thought about something that I didn’t write on it…
When there is a TECHNIQUE at the ending, then it stands for a technique, however, if there is not, then it should be used as an adjective, such as a dream categorization.

Example (I as discussed with Rhewin):
I used the WILDT and got a WILD:
The first is a technique and the second a dream category.

I know it was meant to be anonymous, but do I look like I care? :tongue:

And yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I’ve seen people confused about that before.

Ah, I think I forgot to add a leading optional adjective in the preface definition. Meh

Thanks Vera, if you like it, please help me convincing people that it’s useful! :happy:

i agree with Rhewin. and yes, maybe WILDT is a good idea, but Tg, seriously? BUWILDTISD?? UWIDInLDT???
that is impossible to use. no one would remember that. that doesn’t give fast access. these are first meant for EASE OF USE not for ‘correct categorization’. i’d kill myself having to type something like UWIDInLDT each time, that is just stupid. and you can’t even pronounce that. i am strongly against anything that’s longer than say, 5 letters. it just defeats the purpose.

Whilst I can understand the intentions behind such as system, to be honest I have to question its usefulness. Organic language isn’t structured like this, in fact there have been efforts to make a language that was more structured and logical, they failed. I don’t see a problem with acronyms like WILD and DILD being types of dream, and RCILD meaning a specific technique. It’s no more illogical than an adder and corn snake being a species of snake, whilst snake and squmata are terms referring to a larger genetic family encompassing them. Acronyms become like normal words, they communicate an idea and meaning, how they form isn’t really a major thing. That DILD and WILD are from similar basis is peculiar and interesting, but to try and force that is destined for failure in my opinion. Language develops organically, you simply can’t force it. There is a great many forces at work that shape which words get adopted and which ones aren’t. Things like lol becoming entered in dictionaries show how they develop.

As for it being confusing for beginners, it’s just as confusing even if there is specific similarities between the technique acronym and the dream category acronym. You will still get people who mix them up, that’s part of learning. Language already has a drive towards simplification, which is organic. I don’t believe an inorganic system will work.

It’s also focusing a bit too much on technicalities, it makes lucid dreaming much more complicated than it needs to be. If you want to help beginners then personally I’d avoid using pretty much all but the most basic acronyms. There are a great many acronyms people make up, that aren’t commonly adopted and are unneeded to be honest. Whenever somebody decides to publish the technique they have developed, its almost like they feel they need an acronym for it to be taken seriously. The whole acronym topic detracts from the actual lucid dreaming in the first place, with the advent of these ‘rules’ for their creation its getting even further away from the point of trying to learn from my perspective.

The issue for me is why people feel driven to label everything with an acronym. Sure it makes things negligibly quicker to write, and for those that know the acronym, read, but so does txt-speak, I don’t see that being widely adopted for general conversation. I’d argue that considering why we are so acronym oriented in the first place, is much more constructive as far as helping newcomers and those confused by acronyms, than devising rules about how they should work and hoping everyone follows it. Our minds don’t work like that, the grammar ‘rules’ we have are developed over thousands upon thousands of years and are still to this day under active development. Memorising a whole dictionary of letter to word translations is tedious and when something is intended to speed up communication, having to look up the letter you want in the dictionary, is a time-cost which makes it quicker to just type all the words out. Acronyms seem to me, to be far more socially motivated than practically motivated. In terms of making people feel part of a group by knowing them, or making somebody seem technically proficient in how to lucid dream by appearing knowledgeable, or giving a stamp of approval to a new technique they developed and helping to spread it amongst others.

Likewise. What’s this all about ? I find the current system very understandable and original.

Most definitely not. WILD is written as a form of a dream (full of adjectives), but it is a method as it requires practice and can not be achieved in “normal” circumstances such as DILD.

- My point here is, that some acronyms are the titles of some methods, while others (I think there’s only one: DILD) are types of dreams. If we look at the acronym alone we’ll discover that MILD, WILD, DILD, DEILD (etc) all sound like dream types - adjectives all over the place (induced, lucid). But the differences are the definitions of these acronyms.

MILD: you have to do something to achieve it. - method/tech
WILD: you have to do something to achieve it. - method/tech
DILD: you can’t do something to achieve it - depends on luck/type

- Plus, why the whole argument on DILD - Dream Initiated Lucid Dream or Dream Induced Lucid Dream ? It somehow means the same thing.

to initiate: to cause or facilitate the beginning of; set going;
to induce: to bring about or stimulate the occurrence of;

Anyways, the dream does that: the dream initiates or induces the lucid dream. It’s pretty clear that you don’t do anything to have this happened. Silly thing, but you can easily tell by the title (DILD) that it’s pretty randomly.
Furthermore, anyone knows what it’s about. Why so much “debating” on the acronym !? (Make another experiment and ask random people to tell you how to achieve a DILD. Bet you’ll get answers such as “It’s pretty random” ?)

- Nevertheless these acronyms, once typed and posted have some small lines under them. If you put your mouse over it it’ll say the exact definition plus how to achieve it in a way (example: WILD).

- Finally, you propose a new acronym “mode”:

Now, who will ever remember that !? Or this:

-The actual acronyms are easy to remember, cause they are in a way or another ironical words (adjectives): WILD (it’s a wild or brutal way of entering the dream), MILD (it’s the mild, the steady way of achieving a LD). Others like DEILD, DILD who don’t have a special meaning are still easy to remember: D always stands for dream and L for lucid dream, plus they are really short - as a contrary to your proposed acronyms.

By the arguments I have mentioned above, I don’t mean by all means to cause a flame argument or something of the kind, but I simply expressed my opinion (which I would further sustain) that the actual acronyms and the way they are automatically detected are very well thought and continuously working being fully understandable, thus should not be replaced nor edited (yet).

Good day, :smile:
Don Anonymus

Pay attention on the text, I’m not sure if it’s my falt, but
I’ve said that WILD would be only a type of lucid dream, while its technique would be WILDT.
MILD would be MILDT. etc.


  • It’s just a proposal, no one will enforce it;
  • Pay attention on why I’m criticizing the current system;
  • It can be used as a formal way to define a technique, just like nobody say Canis Familiaris or Felis Domesticus when they refer to their dog or cat;
  • UWIDInLDT is an example; the idea is to be able to identify the definition just by looking at it, as long the sentence is standardized, I don’t to set a definition for each new technique, it can be identified;
  • You don’t need to remember all the table, as you don’t need to remember a whole dictionary.

For example, by standardizing the sentence and acronyms, it would be possible to program a bot or site to write the definition for any acronym, any anybody would be able to write a new acronym at any given time and see its definition.

And Don Anonymous, DILD is not a technique by itself. As well as a MILD is not a dream by itself.

UWIDInLDT stands for Upon Wakening Induced Dream Initiated Lucid Dream Technique, then it would be a UWILD just for DILD (current system). IT WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE TO SHOW ITS EXTENSIBILITY.

If I wanted another technique I would just compose them looking at the acronym symbol dictionary. Anyone who knows the standard would be able to decode the acronym. Notice that it’s not possible with the current system. Induced and Initiated may be related but are not synonyms.

Thanks for reading.

I do have to agree with the idea behind this thread, but as was mentioned, it is a little complex. I think, at first, the proposed system would never be used outside of proper naming as Tggtt noted. It would solve for the problem with duplicate abbreviations, though. There can be only so many *ILDs before things get either complicated to the point of uselessness or multiple techniques start to share acronyms. On the other hand, composing something specifically to be an acronym is also a problem.

My personal suggestion would be to compose names of techniques based off of as short and descriptive a phrase as possible. For example, Cyclic Adjustment Technique or Dream Chaining Technique. They would both shorten down rather nicely into acronyms if they caught on (CAT and DCT) and they give you an idea of what the technique does from their names. If we started doing this, there would probably be less confusion and useless acronyms because for something to really take off as an acronym people would have to know a technique by its proper title, which would save a lot of acronym real estate. It would be a lot easier than having to hunt down a thread from 2005 to see what OMGWTFILD is and how it differs from RCILD. Of course, the proposed technique would have the same effect, but as pointed out, it is a bit too complex to have a good chance of becoming a common standard.

Now, where the proposed standard or similar would help would be a classification technique. So, you go into a technique thread, and you’re like “Dream Chaining Technique?” and you see the following:

[center]Dream Chaining Technique

Then you can be like "Oh, upon waking sleep induced lucid dream? I’m fan of ‘upon waking sleeping’, maybe I should read this. Of course, the challenge would be creating something that would make sense for describing all techniques created or not. As a challenge, I invite you to describe the CAT technique using this.