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RE: ABBR and ACRONYM

From: Pawson, David <DPawson@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 13:18:01 -0000
Message-ID: <81B329C63AEFD0119929006097AB82E40FEC08@priory.rnib.org.uk>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>



> >	One difference we (RNIB) need to recognise,
> >	for an acronym, presented to a low end synth speech
> >	system 'reading' a page, the acronym needs to be 
> >	'spaced out', such that RNIB becomes R N I B,
> >	whereas this is not necessary with an 'abbrev' which can
> >	(often) be 'read out' without being 'spelled out' - if you 
> >	catch my drift. 
> 
> I see, am I correct in understanding that you mean that
> things that should be read out as separate letters should
> use ARCONYM and things that are pronounced more like a word
> use ABBRV?
> 
	The SGML view would be that the markup reflects the authors
intent.
	The 'braillists' view would be as you say.
	I must support the former position.

	If it is an acronym, mark it up as such, if an abbreviation for
a longer
	word, mark it as <abbrev>. Thats the black and white version.
The grey
	shades come in where a word is both pronouncable (as an acronym)
and
	is an abbreviated form. 

	Acronyms are formed from the initial letters (or syllables) of
other words [chambers].
	hence radar is an acronym - should it be marked up as such? I
would say no.

	Abbrev is 'part of a word written instead of the whole'. E.g.
abbrev. When I (sighted)
	read that I read it as the full word. The text to speech system
cannot do that, hence
	perhaps the 'right' thing to do is avoid the use of
abbreviations.

	Acronyms are less easy to avoid! They are in such common use it
simply needs judgement
	as to the need to expand to the full -  or mark up as an acronym
and ensure recognition as
	such!

	Hope that helps

	DaveP




> >	This (IMHO) necessitates differentiation between the two.
> >	How many authors appreciate such finesse I am unsure.
> 
> I think a clearer explanation is needed, it could be really
> annoying if people start using them the wrong way around.
> 
> 
> Chris
> 
> chris@atomism.demon.co.uk
> http://www.atomism.demon.co.uk/
Received on Friday, 30 January 1998 08:14:53 GMT

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