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"Auditory" descriptions

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 01:30:36 -0400
Message-Id: <a051003dab769aa817550@[]>
To: w3c-wai-gl@W3.org
Cc: charles@W3.org, wendy@23.org
I see that Geoff Freed of WGBH, who works down the hall from people 
who do audio description every single day, has pointed out what I 
have pointed out before: The term for audio description is audio 
description, not auditory description.

I don't know why you GLers seem to love "auditory" description so 
much. I assume because of the extra syllable. I guess four syllables 
are better than one to technical people, along the lines of putting 
words "real people" use in "quotation marks" so there's enough 
"distance" from the language "real people" use.

As it is, we have enormous trouble getting people to use the single, 
comprehensible generic term "audio description"; I have heard 
everything from "video description" (now unfortunately official due 
to FCC activity) to "descriptive captioning" to "audio captioning" to 
a range of malapropisms in French.

I wish GLers would simply say uncle and admit that the use of 
"auditory" description has always been wrong. It's been pointed out 
over and over again. Y'all are willing to rewrite substantive 
sections of the Guidelines to make them more understandable and 
correct, yet there is an unwillingness to correct this basic 
terminology error. This is the wrong point to be all proud about.

Also, while I'm at it, captions are not all closed; the Guidelines' 
definition of "captioning (sometimes, 'closed captioning')," while 
also not needing a comma, improperly implies that captions and closed 
captions are one and the same. Tell that to the open-captioners.

Yours in pedantry,
         Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
         Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
         (New Riders Publishing, October 2001)
         Bookpage: <http://joeclark.org/book/>
         Bookblog: <http://joeclark.org/bookblog/>
Received on Thursday, 5 July 2001 01:31:39 UTC

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