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Re: 3.3 clear and simple Re: 9 August 2001 WCAG WG telecon minutes

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 18:22:59 -0400
Message-Id: <200108102206.SAA5003292@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
** First,

While it is important to write in a way that is easy to read, it often
helps to
write in orthodox diction.  Colloquially known as correct grammar.

Where Checkpoint 3.3 says

  3.3 Write as simple as possible yet appropriate for the site's content.

If I recall correctly the grammar teacher would have instructed us to write

  3.3 Write as simply as possible yet appropriately for the content.

** Second,

One problem is that 3.3 and 3.5 are overlapping.  The central plain language
technique one should be using across all language is scrubbing your word use. 
It is not up to the author's whim to determine if a word is obscure; use tools
to find this out.  

If the Atomica service is cross-disability usable (there may be a problem with
mouse free access, here) then on possible trip level for extra documentation
could be in terms of what Atomica will say about a word.

Is Atomica a known problem or a usable option?  It uses the IE module for its
back end, but I don't know if the way it uses the module is accessible via
screen.  The point is that although I like the OED for author-side checking,
the Internet test of whether a word is undocumented should be to hit it with
Atomica and see if the meaning you mean comes back.  Words that either fail to
find an entry or come back with another meaning from this service are things
that should be glossarized.

On the other hand I would suggest that 'radar' while an acronym in origin is
now a vernacular common noun and doesn't need to be marked per the 'acronym'


I think that to eat our own dog food, we may have three shrort checkpoints,
here, not two long ones.

a) use well-known words [check 'em]

b) use simple constructions [yes, the constructions are language-specific]

c) document the exceptions [using markup and/or other forms of metadata]


PS: OED:  Oxford English Dictionary

At 10:22 AM 2001-08-10 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>[changed subject line to help finding it afterwards in the archive]
>Well, I think we could do without all the qualifying statements in the
>checkpoint text. But it seems that there is a desire to have some
>qualification, so the trick is to select the most important bits and not
>overcrowd the text.
>Good point about the grammar lesson stuff, and if there are such things
>online then it would be helpful to refer to them. One of the reasons for
>learning grammar is to have a better range of techniques for writing. For
>example, a good understanding of the differences between active and passive
>voices is generally helpful in trying to write in one or the other, and in
>translating between the two.
>There are a number of differnt language skills that are needed to actually
>implement 3.3. Good vocabulary can to a large extent be automated, or
>strongly supported by automatic tools. Good grammar is also important in
>understanding how to write things that are not ambiguous (as well as in
>how to deliberately introduce ambiguity) and I expect a fair amount of this
>to be in techniques.
>I also expect translations of techniques for this to actually be different -
>some features of language use are the same for a lot of languages, some are
>different. And examples of language should be relevant and natural to the
>language they are written in. (So all you translators out there, have a think
>about this one <grin/>).
>On Fri, 10 Aug 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
>  Charles,
>           Do we need "as possible" as a qualifier, or should that be in the
>  techniques as well?
>           Oh, I liked the first two of your techniques, but think the one
>  about pronouns belongs in a grammar lesson instead of "techniques" ...
>                                                   Anne
Received on Friday, 10 August 2001 18:06:08 UTC

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