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Re: Brainstorming - abbreviations

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 02:19:53 +0900
Message-ID: <45F98039.6010102@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Colin Lieberman <colin@cactusflower.org>
CC: Andrew Sidwell <takkaria@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org
Laurens Holst schreef:
>> Fair enough, but if we were chatting face to face, and I asked you 
>> what your favorite 'sequel' server was, would you really be confused? 
>> I think most people are quite clever enough to handle those sorts of 
>> common variations. But, maybe  SQL was a bad example. An 
>> author-specified pronunciation would be useful for common 
>> abbreviations like Mr., Sr., etc. (both as an example, and literally 
>> :) which currently grate on the ears when read by screen readers. 
>
> I think you can expect screenreaders to have a big list of 
> abbreviations and their pronunciation. And if an abbreviation is not 
> on their list, it can make an educated guess, or the user can add an 
> entry to the list if it really bothers them. And otherwise, even if 
> the pronunciation is wrong, it’s still understandable—so what, I also 
> say ‘ess-cue-ell’ instead of ‘sequel’ (I’m Dutch, sorry for that ;p) 
> and people get what I mean :).
>
> The only thing that would cover all abbreviations completely is to add 
> some attribute with a indicating how it’s pronounced using phonetic 
> alphabet. Because any other scheme simply doesn’t cover it. Do you 
> really think a screenreader can correctly pronounce SQL as ‘sequel’ 
> just because it’s got an <acronym> tag around it? It will more likely 
> become something like ‘escuel’ or ‘sekkel’ or whatever. Similarly, 
> SPARQL – ‘sparkle’, SCSI – ‘scuzzy’, XUL – ‘zool’. Not to mention that 
> many abbreviations have no single way of pronunciation. Take Linux as 
> an example (although not really an abbreviation, I suppose), which can 
> be pronounced like ‘leenooks’, ‘linnuks’, ‘lynuks’, etc. [1]

Plus your nice example indeed that there are many abbreviations out 
there (like Mr. and Sr.) that are only used in writing.

Anyway, it is not so strange to expect a screen reader to know such 
things, if you ask me. Especially if inside <abbr></abbr> tags, I think 
the clue is clear enough for them to figure it out.


~Grauw

-- 
Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san nan da!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.




Received on Thursday, 15 March 2007 17:20:27 GMT

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