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RE: Definition of Contraction:

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 15:22:58 +0200
To: "'WAI WCAG List'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040516132144.803B8A0CC0@frink.w3.org>

Hello all,
In the examples of contractions I have seen "o'clock", "isn't", etc. Can
someone explain to me what accessibility problems are involved in those? I
can't see much problems with those. Can someone give me examples of
contractions that really limit accessibility? 

In our language, Dutch, we have some contractions that have been used
instead of the full versions for decades, maybe even centuries. Examples: "
's morgens" instead of "des morgens", "zo'n" instead of "zo een". The full
word 'des' has all but disappeared from our language, and won't be familiar
to people with learning disabilities. 

For these examples, most people won't even realize that they are
contractions and might get confused and even not understand you if you
provide the full version. In my estimate, this will be especially true for
people with learning disabilities. The contracted versions are the simple
versions, providing the full archaic versions won't benefit anyone. 

It seems to me that there are contractions that would benefit from providing
the full version for better understanding, and that there are contractions
where providing the full version could be harmful. I don't know that we can
come up with a clear definition to separate the two but we have to be
careful not to do more harm than good. 

Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
WWW: http://www.heritas.nl
Received on Sunday, 16 May 2004 09:21:44 UTC

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