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RE: ABBR vs. ACRONYM

From: McDonald, Ira <imcdonald@sharplabs.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:53:33 -0800
Message-ID: <1115A7CFAC25D311BC4000508B2CA53730FF5B@MAILSRVNT02>
To: "'Karl Ove Hufthammer'" <huftis@bigfoot.com>, WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi folks,

I agree with Karl's suggestion (below) to keep ABBR and delete entirely 
(from HTML) ACRONYM.  The word 'abbreviation' may be within the limited
vocabulary of a speaker of English as a second language.  But 'acronym'
is FAR outside such a vocabulary.

Jargon and limited-use definitions defeat communication.

The IETF, ISO, ITU-T and other international standards bodies have always
followed the principle of using words with their *most common* definition:
a) to facilitate understanding by persons with limited vocabulary; and 
b) to ensure accurate translations of standards texts.

Cheers,
- Ira McDonald (consulting architect at Sharp Labs America)
  High North Inc

-----Original Message-----
From: Karl Ove Hufthammer [mailto:huftis@bigfoot.com]
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2000 7:51 AM
To: WAI Interest Group Emailing List
Subject: Re: ABBR vs. ACRONYM


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
To: "Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo" <sinarmaya@retemail.es>
Cc: "Ann Navarro" <ann@webgeek.com>; "Kynn Bartlett"
<kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>; "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>;
"WAI Interest Group Emailing List" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2000 11:24 PM
Subject: RE: ABBR vs. ACRONYM

> Acronym and abbreviation add something very important that is completely
> lacking in span - information about what kind of information is being
marked
> out (specifically, something that is an abbreviation or an acronym).
> 
> If the two things are equivalent in HTML then there are a few
> possiblities. One is to remove one of them, and in this case I would
suggest
> abbr, as the one less supported.

I actually think removing acronym, as an acronym really *is* a type of
abreviation. And if we (people on the WAI-IG list) can't agree on acronyms
are and what's just abbreviations, I very much doubt "ordinary" people will
understand the difference. Since abbr and acroynm will be rendered the same
on all UAs, I really see no reason to keep both in the HTML specification,
especially since noone seems to know the difference (and the definition is
not the same in various languages/countries).

-- 
Karl Ove Hufthammer
Received on Monday, 21 February 2000 16:05:27 GMT

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