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RE: Abbreviations and Acronyms: [techs] Latest HTML Techniques Draft

From: <Kurt_Mattes@bankone.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 06:36:55 -0500
Message-ID: <B239BEDED044074C8E2CCC3A9162F2A905B48848@swilnts804.wil.fusa.com>
To: <Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com>, <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <www-html@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Is this a forum to discuss WAI issues?  Is there some limit to how many times an issue may be raised?  What I see regularly are new memebers to this forum.  For them and I, this is the first time this issue has been raised.  Rather than questioning why an issue is repeated, perhaps it would be more productive and a bit less intimidating to simply share the information many of the members appear to have on given topics.  If a topic has been exhaustivly examined in the past, it should be fairly easy for the more experienced members to list the relevant points thus minimizing the need for multiple emails on "old" topics.

If we want to improve accessibility, should we question or belittle those asking questions?  

Kurt Mattes 
Application Development Analyst-Lead Developer 
(302) 282-1414 

-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Wolfgang Hujer [mailto:Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2003 6:02 AM
To: David Woolley; www-html@w3.org; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Abbreviations and Acronyms: [techs] Latest HTML Techniques

Hash: SHA1


Am Freitag, 12. Dezember 2003 07:39 schrieb David Woolley:
> > ¥ 1970; english. acronym Ç word composed with Initials or syllabs or
> >
> > <ABBR title="World Wide Web">WWW</ABBR>
> >
> > is wrong :) WWW is Acronym, not abbr...
> No, because WWW is not a word, as it is not pronounceable in English.
This has been discussed last year and the year before and the year before...

It is *not* a requirement for an acronym to be pronouncable as word, at least 
not for the languages German and English. That's a common misunderstanding. Even I thought so...

Also, an acronym always is an abbreviation, while an abbreviation is not 
always an acronym.

I think you all might find this thread quite interesting:

I did more research on the abbreviation vs. acronym topic.
And I finally agree with Steven Pemberton.

An acronym must be a word, yes.
But that word needn't necessarily be pronouncable. It's enough that we treat 
it as if it were a word. That's what differs Radar, Laser, XML, SCSI, DSSSL and WWW from e.g..

> This is a fairly common repeat topic on these lists.
Quite unnecessary, this has all been discussed before and I thought the 
discussion was closed long before, without a reason to reopen it ;-)

My point:
- - since acronyms aren't neccessarily pronouncable, it's required to differ 
between acronyms and abbreviations for speech browsers; a separate, e.g. 
class based scheme is required anyway, since for <abbr title="for 
example">e.g.</abbr> you'd might want to make an exception from the rule to speak the title and want to spell out the element content instead. So you'd 
need at least three classes to be implemented in an aural stylesheet:
* spell out element content
* read title
* read element content

- - the semantic value of marking up an abbreviation that is an acronym 
different from those abbreviation that aren't is very very little, for me it 
even has no value at all; I'd rather wish for a <person/> element than for a 
differentiation between those abbreviations that are acronyms and those that 

- - Also, for transformations with XSLT <acronym/> gives no extra value. 
Expanding <abbr>e.g.</abbr> and <acronym>Laser</acronym> using a database works all the same.

So differing between those two kinds of abbreviations that are acronyms and that aren't isn't that important at all, I think. So I vote for dropping <acronym/> (XHTML 2.0 probably does so).

I think the WAI HTML Techniques Draft should state that it's important to markup abbreviations at all, but it's not so important to markup those 
special abbreviations that are acronyms as such.

Also I suggest that abbreviations are always marked up, not just the first time, maybe the title can be given only the first time.

- -- 
Christian Wolfgang Hujer
Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter (Shareholding CEO)
E-Mail: Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com
WWW: http://www.itcqis.com/
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Received on Friday, 12 December 2003 06:37:00 UTC

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