Re: <acronym? [was: www-html archives ]

Paul Prescod (
Wed, 30 Jul 1997 19:30:03 -0400

Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 19:30:03 -0400
From: Paul Prescod <>
To: "Alan J. Flavell" <>
CC: Dan Connolly <>,
Subject: Re: <acronym? [was: www-html archives ]

Alan J. Flavell wrote:
> Where I come from, TLA stands for three letter _abbreviation_.
> One positive feature: even though you disagree with your dictionary,
> you said nothing that debars acronyms from being pronounced. So on
> that point you must agree that the HTML4.0 draft is wrong, even if
> we'd have to differ on the other parts of the issue.

That's true. I'm trying to figure out where we really differ on the
other parts of the issue? Do you really think that more people consider
the word ACRONYM as being restricted to those initial-based
abbreviations that are spoken as words? (Yahoo searches

Or is our difference in the question of whether the HTML specification
should be descriptive or prescriptive with regard to its use of the
English language? I don't mind being prescriptive as long as we are not
obfuscatory and "initialism" would be. My spell checker doesn't even
include the word!

 Paul Prescod

P.S. Merriam-Webster supports the wider definition. Look up
"initialism". So Peter Flynn's opinion that this comes from the US is
probably not correct.