W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January to March 2007

Re: Fwd: <abbr>, <acronym> and initialisms

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:26:28 -0500
To: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: Doug Jones <doug_b_jones@mac.com>, Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Message-Id: <20070330030857.M66590@hicom.net>

Matthew Raymond wrote, quote:
>    It wouldn't be harmful to read out acronyms by letter. In 
> fact, with all the annoying quasi-acronyms flying around 
> (XUL, XAML, PNG, MNG, et cetera), I'd prefer it.
unquote

beware of that for which you wish...

last century, when the XHTML activity was first announced, 
on the w3c site, i spent a long time wondering what:

X H T M L T M

was...

i thought i knew what the X the H the T the M and the L 
were, but i couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what 
the terminal T and M stood for, until i listened to the 
document source, and discovered that the terminal T and M 
were marked as superscript, which i know to be a print 
convention for representing a trademark assertion...

nor did i ever realize - because it was always read 
character by character - why i18n was the abbreviation for 
internationalization, until i was asked to join the a11y 
project at the linux foundation, and suddenly realized 
the unconventional convention behind the abbreviation.

on the web, NOTHING is self-evident.  the user should be 
the one who decides how an expansion is expressed -- 
visually, aurally, tactilely -- but in order to do so, he 
or she needs guidance, which can only be provided by 
authors writing to a specification; in particular, an 
attribute i've proposed for abbreviation markup, 
"expressed-as", which is different and distinct from 
"pronounced", which properly falls under the domain of 
ACSS.

i have more concrete suggestions and opinions on this topic 
to discuss, but i first need to clear the use of my member-
confidential posts on the topic of abbreviation markup to 
the PF WG to this, a public list, or compile them into an 
integrated whole.

gregory.

----------------------------------------------------------------
CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net or gregory@ubats.org

skype: oedipusnj

sites: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
       http://ubats.org
       http://my.opera.com/oedipus/
----------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Friday, 30 March 2007 03:26:41 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Friday, 30 March 2007 03:26:47 GMT