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Re: proposed new definitions for abbreviation and acronym

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 21:20:11 +0100
Message-ID: <e2a28a92050916132057b93fa5@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Hi John,

The important distinction between an initialism and an acronym is that
an acronym is a pronounceable word. I appreciate that the Oxford
definition (and American Heritage) only mentions a word, but by
definition, words are pronounceable. The only definition that differs
from the accepted meaning is Merriam-Webster's definition, which I
mentioned in my objection yesterday.

Like other definition's, the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
explicitly uses the word "pronounced":

<blockquote cite="http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/acronym">
an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of each word in the
name of something, pronounced as a word: - AIDS is an acronym for
'Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome'.

I don't think it would be appropriate for WCAG to redefine a word that
has an accepted meaning just to cater for IE. If IE's that important,
maybe a further technique could be suggested to ignore the semantics
of acronym, and use it for all abbreviations regardless of whether of
not it actually is an acronym? I have less of a problem with people
using the incorrect element than I do for redefining words. The
advantage of moving it to a technique is that we don't end up with an
"until user agents" situation, as the technique could be updated
should IE ever support abbr. We are already doing that in our guide
docs. By no stretch of the imagination could "L" be considered an
acronym, yet it's marked up as such to define "Level".

Best regards,


Supplement your vitamins
Received on Friday, 16 September 2005 20:20:55 UTC

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