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Fwd: <abbr>, <acronym> and initialisms

From: Doug Jones <doug_b_jones@mac.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 11:42:22 -0400
To: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <EB7C1A81-3971-4450-A2F5-40AB56E5321B@mac.com>


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Doug Jones <doug_b_jones@mac.com>
> Date: 2007 March 29 10:11:25 EDT
> To: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: <abbr>, <acronym> and initialisms
>
>
> On 2007 Mar 29, at 09:15, Gareth Hay wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>>
>>> Yes. Definition is from the New Oxford American Dictionary.
>>> initialism: an abbreviation consisting of initial letters  
>>> pronounced separately (e.g., CPU).
>>>  an acronym.
>>>
>>> abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase.
>>>
>>> Examples include Dr. (doctor), abbr. (abbreviation), WWW (World  
>>> Wide Web) and UK (United Kingdom).
>>>
>>> acronym: a word formed from the initial letters of other words.
>>>
>>> Examples include radar (radio detection and ranging) and laser  
>>> (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).
>>
>> What is WWW then?
>>
>> you say it is an initialism, which is an acronym, but then example  
>> it as an abbreviation and not an acronym later.
>>
>> I'm confused?!?!
>
> Unfortunately, the definition of initialism causes things to be  
> messy. That an initialism may be an acronym is not part of the  
> primary definition.
>
> I amend my example of abbreviation to exclude WWW and UK; these are  
> initiailsms. However, if we do not separate out initialisms, I  
> believe they best belong in the abbreviation camp since they do not  
> form words.
>
> Also, an abbreviation is customarily expanded upon reading. Perhaps  
> an initialism is read by character.
>
> I will get my thought on the AbbrAcronym01 wiki within a day.
Received on Thursday, 29 March 2007 15:42:39 GMT

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