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Re: abbr/acronym - repetitive use

From: William R Williams/R5/USDAFS <wrwilliams@fs.fed.us>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 13:01:46 -0800
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF116F303D.2CD8B594-ON88256B0B.006FE33D@r5.fs.fed.us>

I believe reality enters into the equation.

For example, it is accepted practice in the publishing industry to, upon
first use only, associate an acronym/abbreviation with its entire title and
expect the reader to recall this association in later uses of the
acro/abbr. In other words, 1 full articulation is provided but, thereafter,
the acro/abbr is presented alone -- such usage only makes sense, or else,
why does an acronym or abbreviation exist in the first place?

In this fashion, individuals who are temporarily enabled are expected to
remember the meaning of the acro/abbr and so it should be, as well, for
individuals experiencing relevant disabilities. Web presentation does not
really change this logic; in fact, repeated use of the acronym/abbreviation
tags at each instance seems discriminatory in itself.

Certainly, the design of the web site is also a consideration. A good
example is a case where one links, or anchors, to a section of a web page
where the acro/abbr is used, but the complete articulation is provided in
an earlier passage on that page. There is probably a need here to repeat
the acro/abbr tag.

Bill Williams

                    <iristopa@excit        To:     w3c-wai-ig@w3.org                         
                    e.com>                 cc:                                               
                    Sent by:               Subject:     abbr/acronym - repetitive use        
                    11/21/01 08:45                                                           
                    Please respond                                                           
                    to iristopa                                                              

hi everyone

i convert a lot of academic research reports and similar documents into
html, which contain tons of abbreviations and acronyms, many of which occur
repeatedly on the same page.

request for advice/opinion:
would it be enough to enclose the first occurrence of an acronym in the
appropriate tag, e.g. <acronym title="Manchester Metropolitan
University">MMU</acronym> and leave the other occurrences of MMU on the
page without the mark-up, or is it best to do this for every time the
acronym occurs.

additional question:
and while we're on the subject, there seems to be confusion over which is
which.  my understanding is that an acronym is something like WWW, where
first letter of each word is used, while a shortening of a word (e.g. etc.
from etcetera) is an abbreviation.  but even the wai guidelines have WWW
listed as an abbreviation. ???

omnia mea mecum porto


Received on Wednesday, 21 November 2001 15:57:32 UTC

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