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Re: PRI-10 Abbreviations and acronyms

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 00:23:42 +0100 (BST)
To: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.10.9904280016190.27553-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>

The problem with ACRONYM is that there is no longer any agreement on
what the term means, as was brought home to me only too clearly when
the drafts for HTML4.0 were being discussed.

According to Modern English Usage 2nd edition, an acronym is a
pronounceable word formed from the initial letters of a phrase.  
Thus, a speaking machine presented with <ACRONYM>UNESCO</> knows that
it is expected to pronounce these initials as a word, instead of
spelling them out as initial letters as with <ABBREV>IBM</>.

Do authors agree?  Absolutely not.  They now use the term "acronym" to
refer to any kind of initialism, whether normally pronounced or
whether spelled out.

And so, the markup seems to have become useless.

Best regards
Received on Tuesday, 27 April 1999 19:23:47 UTC

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