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Re: proposed new definitions for abbreviation and acronym

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 21:00:42 +0200
Message-Id: <6.0.0.22.2.20050915204632.03221210@mailserv.esat.kuleuven.be>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org


At 20:30 15/09/2005, Becky Gibson wrote:
<blockquote>
(...) In reviewing GL 3.1 L3 SC3, (...) we have
uncovered the need for updated  definitions of abbreviation and acronym.
The current and proposed definitions as well as some rationale are below:

<current definitions>
Acronym -A word made from the initial letters of a name that contains
several words. For example, NOAA is a word made from the initial letters
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United
States. SNCF is a French acronym that contains the initial letters of the
Societe National des Chemins de Fer, the French national railroad.
Abbreviation -The shortened form of a word. For example, "Dr." is the
abbreviation for the English word "doctor." "M." is the abbreviation for
the French word "Monsieur."
</current definitions>

<proposed definitions>
abbreviation -The shortened form of a word.  For example, "est." may be
the abbreviation for the English words "established" or "estimate."  "Cie"

is the abbreviation for the French word "compagnie" (company).

acronym - A word made from the initial letters of a name that contains
several words.  For example, NOAA is a word made from the initial letters
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United
States. SNCF is a French acronym that contains the initial letters of the
Societe National des Chemins de Fer, the French national railroad.   All
acronyms are abbreviations.
</blockquote>


The last sentence contradicts the definition of abbreviation. Both acronyms
and abbreviations are *abbreviated forms*.


Becky also wrote:
<blockquote>
Note: Some English language  sources require that acronyms form a word
that is spoken as syllables while others accept any grouping of the
initial letters of words as an acronym.  WCAG 2.0 uses the latter, less
restrictive definition.
</proposed definitions>
</blockquote>


If you want to be more precise, you could call the pronouncable type
acronyms and the unpronouncalbe type initialisms.


Becky finally wrote:
<blockquote>
<rationale>
(...)
Updated the acronym definition to state that acronyms are abbreviations.
This allows the use of the HTML technique for <abbr> to be used for both
acronyms and abbreviations.  XHTML2 is removing the acronym element in
favor of just abbr [3].
</blockquote>


You can only use the HTML technique for <abbr> for both
acronyms and abbreviations if you define abbr to mean "abbreviated form",
as I proposed in my comments on XHTML 2 (if the HTML WG insists on
removing <acronym>) [4].



[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#meaning
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#meaning-located
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-text.html#sec_9.1

[4] 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html-editor/2005JulSep/att-0040/XHTML2_20050527_comments.html

Regards,

Christophe Strobbe



-- 
Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group on 
Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
http://www.docarch.be/ 


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Received on Thursday, 15 September 2005 19:01:59 GMT

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