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Re: Brainstorming - abbreviations

From: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 12:11:34 -0700
Message-ID: <45F99A66.20509@accessibleinter.net>
To: public-html@w3.org

Robert Brodrecht wrote:
> It's not muddy at all.  Even if acronym is a "subset" of abbr (it could
> be argued either way), they perform two completely different tasks.  An
> abbreviation is a shortening of a word (e.g. vs, cont, mgmt, mr, mrs).
> An acronym is a shortening of a group of words to form another "word"
> (e.g. RADAR, LASER, NATO, SQL) or shortening to initials (e.g. W3C,
> HTML, CSS, eg, ie, LOL, TLA - three letter acronym ;).

Do I understand your argument to therefore be:
The sole semantic value of acronym is that it tells the reader that the
"origin" of the shortened construct marked up as an acronym is a group
of words.  Conversely, the "origin" of an abbreviation is a single word.

> An optional "pronounce" attribute wouldn't be bad.  However, I don't
> know how screen readers would behave.  As of now, do they simply read
> the title attribute or do they read the abbreviated text in the element
> with the option of reading the title?  If the former, how would it
> decide whether to read the "pronounce" or the "title"?

JAWS defaults to reading the abbreviated text, but can be configured to
look at the title attribute.

Window-Eyes has similar options, but I do not know offhand what the
default is.

Just to name two.

> Anyway, the pronounce attribute may have problems, but I don't dislike
> the idea of it.  I do, however, extremely dislike the idea of joining
> abbr and acronym.

I prefer to leave anything intended to influence speech output to the
CSS3 Speech Module, rather than attempting to put it into HTML.

Unless there is some meaningful semantic value to acronym, I agree with
the XHTML2 approach to drop it in value of abbr.

-- 
Bill Mason
Accessible Internet
w3c@accessibleinter.net
http://accessibleinter.net/
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2007 19:12:07 GMT

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