If we go back many years, complex curves where drawn using wooden “splines” of known deformation properties. These were kept in place by “ducks” to maintain the curve profile while the draughtsman drew along them. They where eventually replaced (by the time I worked in a drawing office) by “French Curves”, fixed plastic profiles and a curious plastic coated section of lead sheeves that one could bend and it would hold it’s shape.
Pierre Bezier (Renault Designer) was probably the first to define them mathematically, along with work by another at Citroen (I forget his name), Bezier’s name stuck. These curves were refined in mathematical definition over many years to become NURBS as we know them now, the “B” in B-Spline relates to Bezier.
The greatest advance in this technology in CAD (I’m not shouting) allowed us to cut a NURB and for the remaing sections to hold the exact profile of the original, rather than be distorted by the cut. I remember demonstrating this to a prestigeous UK car company in the 1980’s, to prove we had the ability to maintain the original profile of the car side after we cut out the doors.
So much for history, all-capitalised words now seem to infer shouting, rather than “this is an acronym” and I suppose we must blame social media for that since there was no other way for people to shout via a computer screen. In my younger days we were told to write insults and sarcastic remarks in Latin so as to annoy our recipients even more, far more effective than shouting.
So, given all that, maybe we should refer to them as generally; Splines, specifically; Spline Surfaces, Spline Curves, etc. to maintain the consistency of the interface. Then to describe them in detail in the documentation as perhaps “These objects are built as Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines, hereafter NURBS”. I suspect most user won’t be concerned with what they are, only that they can do the job they want them to do, for example, model the hull of a yatch.
I agree with the comments that this is not a bug, but an inconsistency between interface and documentation and a departure from the correct use of acronyms and should be seen as just that, however annoying it is to those of us brought up in days long gone, where spelling, punctuation, grammar and composition were seen as much more important than they are today, so many people split infinitives these days!
There, old man’s rant over, I shall go back to my pipe and slippers!