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RE: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header labels (no blocker)

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 13:16:41 +0100
To: "'Roberto Castaldo'" <r.castaldo@iol.it>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1AGddU-0000gR-P8@smtp3.home.nl>

Perhaps for Italians the word "concise" is very clear, because it exists in
Italian as well (in a different variant). For the Germanic languages I know
besides English (Dutch, German), there is no variant of "concise", which
makes it a more difficult word for us. I also took French in high school,
which has "concis". I had to look this up in a dictionary since that is not
part of our normal high school vocabulary and I didn't know it. 

My estimate is that at most half the people with a Master's degree in the
Netherlands would know the English word "concise". I don't think the average
person with a high school degree in the Netherlands would know it (even
though English is mandatory for almost everyone). The average Dutchmen will
have had about 6-8 years of English lessons when leaving high school (which
is a lot more than in many non-English speaking countries). I would guess
that the vocabulary of a Dutch kid leaving high school is about the same as
that of a 10-year-old native speaker. Would you use "terse" or "concise" to
explain something to the 10-year-old kid next door?

We have to be very careful when choosing which words to use. For each
non-trivial word, we have to balance the number of people who appreciate the
more expressive power of that word against the people who will not
understand it. For "terse" and "concise", I think the balance tips the wrong
way so we should avoid them.

Roberto Castaldo and Roberto Scano, what do you think of "compact"? Does
Italian have "compacto" or something? 

Ciao,

Yvette Hoitink
CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Roberto Castaldo
> Sent: zondag 2 november 2003 23:17
> To: 'Yvette P. Hoitink'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: RE: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header 
> labels (no blocker)
> 
> 
> Concise seems perfect: in italian we say "conciso", and it 
> means exactly what we intend to say. 
> Maybe it's the best choice.
> 
> ----------------------------------
> Roberto Castaldo
> www.webaccessibile.org coordinator
> IWA/HWG Member
> rcastaldo@webaccessibile.org
> r.castaldo@iol.it
> Mobile +39 348 3700161
> Icq 178709294
> ----------------------------------
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
> Sent: domenica 2 novembre 2003 20.51
> To: 'Yvette P. Hoitink'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: RE: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header 
> labels (no
> blocker)
> 
> 
> Hmmmmmm     
> compact......
> interesting word.   What does that sound like to others.
> Though not quite as good as concise, its eems more common 
> than concise Seems more accurate than brief.
> 
> How about people from other countries.  Which word is easier 
> to understand, has the right meaning, and is easy to translate.
> 
> Concise
> Compact
> Brief
> Short
> 
> 
>  
> Gregg
> 
>  -- ------------------------------
> Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
> Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
> Director - Trace R & D Center
> University of Wisconsin-Madison 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Yvette P. Hoitink [mailto:y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl]
> Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2003 12:21 PM
> To: gv@trace.wisc.edu; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: RE: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header 
> labels (no
> blocker)
> 
> 
> For me personally, concise is a word in my passive 
> vocabulary, not in my
> active vocabulary. In other words: it's not a word I would 
> use. Instead I
> would use words like brief, compact  short, etc. 
> 
> Yvette
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> > [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
> > Sent: vrijdag 31 oktober 2003 18:46
> > To: 'Yvette P. Hoitink'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> > Subject: RE: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header 
> > labels (no blocker)
> > 
> > 
> > Concise is a better word.  Is that also an unusual word.
> > 
> >  
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org 
> > [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Yvette P. Hoitink
> > Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 9:13 AM
> > To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> > Subject: HTML techniques - "Terse" substitutes for header labels (no
> > blocker)
> > 
> > 
> > Going over the HTML techniques draft, I came across the 
> > technique called "Terse substitutes for header labels":
> > <http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-HTML-TECHS-20031020
> .html#datatabl
> > es_abbr>
> > 
> > I am not a native speaker of English, but I do read a lot of 
> > books and articles in English (on average 500-1000 pages per 
> > week for the last 10 years or so) so I do not think I have a 
> > limited vocabulary. However, I had never heard of the word 
> > "terse" before. 
> > 
> > When I looked it up using dictionary.com, it said "Brief and 
> > to the point; effectively concise". Wouldn't "brief" be a 
> > better word, i.e. "Brief substitutes for header labels". Or 
> > even "short", to use the simplest words to convey the meaning.
> > 
> > Yvette Hoitink
> > CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands
> > 
> 
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 3 November 2003 07:17:10 GMT

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