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Re: New tool on Accessify - Acronym Generator

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 20:54:44 +0930
Message-ID: <3EA677FC.9020707@kbc.net.au>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi All

 From one post:
> Recursive acronyms a la GNU's Not Unix are just downright evil.

 From another:
> So...is the definition of - and the line between - acronym and
> abbreviation blurred, or is it just me ?

I'd just like to add my "two cents' worth" in here...

1) Recursive acronyms probably are not accessible - they are a form of
"in joke" which, like other "in jokes" tend to make a sense to a limited
audience.  (I happen to like them, as befits one with a twisted mind ;-)

2) I've been watching the acronym vs. abbreviation debate for some time
and in many different contexts.  It seems that the majority of people
are confused on the issue.  I have, for some time, being working on the
premise that an acronym should contain a vowel or pseudo-vowel to make
the term sound like a "real" word.  I have, therefore, probably been
using the <abbr></abbr> element in many circumstances which would really
warrant an <acronym></acronym>.  What the hey, it's all just semantics
<grin/>

<acronym></acronym> and <abbr></abbr> both perform the same function,
that is, they expand and explain the meaning of a term.  The question
that I now raise is: why do we have two terms with similar function
which a) cause confusion as stated in my second point and b) would not
appear to be adequate when dealing with recursive acronyms, as in my
first point?

Would it not be more appropriate, for a future version of (X)HTML, to
have a single element, the function of which is to explain an
abbreviation, acronym or whatever?

Example:
<term title="Extended three-letter acronym; this term is an in-joke in
technology circles">ETLA</term>

Cheers

M


-- 
Matthew Smith
IT Consultant - KBC, South Australia
KBC Web Site    http://www.kbc.net.au
PGP Public Key  http://gpg.mss.cx
Received on Wednesday, 23 April 2003 07:24:55 GMT

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