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Re: How to specify pronunciation of ABBR?

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:50:23 -0600
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF24140217.33B6DE10-ON85256E19.00595B25-86256E19.005CA966@us.ibm.com>

David, your comments were mostly about the text I quoted from the XHTML 2.0
spec.  Perhaps you should send your comments to the WAI PF group or
directly to the XHTML working group [see note 1].

However I would like to respond to your last comment:
>> forms (e.g., "URI" and "SQL") are spelled out by some people and
>> as words by other people. When necessary, authors should use style
>That makes it a styling issue.  In normal documents, the term should be
>pronounced the way the recipient would pronounce it, not the way the
>author would pronounce it, so it becomes a non-issue from the point of
>view of the author.

Visual style *is* an issue for authors - authors want their content to look
a certain way, that's why they add style sheets.  Authors also hear their
content being rendered by voice browsers and screen readers, and they want
to influence the way their content is spoken.  For example, new terms in a
Web article frequently have in line text on how to pronounce the new term,
but they actually want the text-to-speech (TTS) synthesizer to pronounce it
the same way as well.  Hence my post, how should we tell them to code the
speaking style and how it differs from pronunciation markup?

Just as the users can trump the author with cascading style sheets where
the user's style sheet gets final say (except in !important), the user can
override the author in aural styling.  But the whole point of my post, and
I think you contributed to my argument, is that pronunciation is not part
of style.  Pronunciation in the non-sighted world of voice browsers and
screen readers is the only way to render the content.  If the TTS engine
says the wrong word - it's just the same as a display showing the wrong (or
misspelled) word.  The authors job is to markup the content so that it gets
rendered correctly, visually and or aurally.

Note 1 XHTML 2.0 working group http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Activity

Phill Jenkins,  IBM Accessibility Services
Received on Monday, 12 January 2004 11:50:27 UTC

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