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Brief description was Re: [320] Ability to be expressed in words

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 07:39:34 +0100
Cc: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Message-Id: <0D05B369-DC47-11D7-8E42-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>

Would "brief description" be helpful? alt could then be changed to 
<brief="my shorter description of Guernica">


On Friday, August 29, 2003, at 04:41  am, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> Hey, we're on the same page!!
> Nearly. I certainly agree that equivalence is a bad way to 
> characterise the relationship between a brief set of notes on the 
> "flight of the bumblebee" and the actual piece of music. (And I have 
> never considered trying to explain what I like about Marianne 
> Faithfull to a deaf person, although I believe it could be 
> approximated). There isn't a strict verbal equivalent to Picasso's 
> 'Guernika'. For that matter, nor is there a strict visual equivalent 
> to Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings".
> Fortunately there is a difference between "expressing something 
> completely" and "expressing something adequately". Describing the 
> colour scheme used for a page is generally doing more than is needed, 
> in that it doesn't add to the user's experience of the page, and may 
> not even be meaningful to them. Ditto for the pretty ribbon chosen 
> instead of a normal horizontal line. Describing Picasso's 'Guernika' 
> as "black and white picture of people and animals" is probably doing 
> less than is needed.
> But in many cases we communicate in roundabout ways, through 
> rhetorical figures (Joe). While we might not convey the full beauty 
> and superior nature of our communication, we can often convey the 
> essence in words. For people whose experience of the Web is based 
> solely on communicating through words, this is generally adequate.
> There are of course exceptions. When we are producing pure art it is 
> difficult to directly express it, although there may be value in 
> giving some idea what it is about or the sensation it produces in a 
> viewer. And when we are talking just for the sake of it, without 
> saying anything valuable, or just to stir up argument, it is an open 
> question whether it is more useful to summarise the statements made, 
> or to note that "somebody made their usual pointless contribution".
> The goal is to make our communication good enough. (I happen to 
> dislike the phrase "able to be expressed in words" rather intensely, 
> but until I have something better to propose I figure that it is good 
> enough to convey the idea.I could of course be wrong). And describe 
> ways that can be done.
> An alternative is expected to be good enough, and in that sense it has 
> a relation of equivalence (which is a broad concept).
> chaals
> On Wednesday, Aug 27, 2003, at 02:06 Australia/Sydney, Joe Clark wrote:
>> Some things *cannot be expressed in words*. That's why words are not 
>> the only form of communication we use. It follows-- pay attention, 
>> Chaaalz-- that there aren't "alternatives" or "equivalents" for 
>> everything.
> --
> Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
> charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 1 September 2003 02:35:25 UTC

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