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RE: Definition of Contraction:

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 20:25:12 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Cc: 'WAI WCAG List' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0405162013360.25913@homer.w3.org>

Hi Yvette,

you raise a good point. I think the important thing is to be working on
things that are not clear if people use a given vocabulary. In some languages
and for many circumstances we could prpovide a reference vocabulary that
effectively avoids ambiguity (one of the ways that people can find ambiguity
is by having an abnormally large vocabulary, and understanding the
little-known meanings of words as well as the more common ones. This is
something that causes problems in language testing at primary school
level...).

The general principle, I think, is to clarify things that aren't in a
reference vocabulary, that are ambiguous, metaphorical, sarcastic, or
otherwise harder to interpret for people with one of the various disabilities
that impact the understanding of language.

As an example, expanding "o'clock" to "of the clock" is likely to be more
harm than good, since "o'clock" would be the more common term. Similarly the
examples you provide for dutch (I believe there are other languages that have
a lot of these, but can't think of any now except "o'clock" and "most any"
used in the US to mean "almost any" but which is really more of a significant
regional language variation :( are cases where the short form would be in the
more widely understood vocabulary.

Cheers

Chaals

On Sun, 16 May 2004, Yvette P. Hoitink wrote:

>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.
Received on Sunday, 16 May 2004 20:25:12 GMT

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