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Abbrevations and Acronyms

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil.kjernsmo@astro.uio.no>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 17:57:34 +0200 (MET DST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.05.9910041722520.820-100000@rasalhague>
Dear all,

I must admit that the HTML4.01 PR caught me by surprise, I had for long
had an issue in my mind but had not expected an update to the spec for
some time. I hope it is something that may taken into account as a minor

What I call for, is an elaboration of the distinction between ABBR and
ACRONYM in the spec.

The distinction is not that clear in all languages, in Norway, we would in
most cases not make a clear distinction, everything is "forkortelser" to
us. After having been bothered about this for some time, I asked around on
various news groups and mailing lists (not here, however), and it became
very clear that the distinction is not clear at all to quite a few native
English speakers as well, and that there is substantial confusion as to
the use of these two elements.

The discussion that was here in Febrary 1998 didn't help me much, nor
do the previous discussions here or on other lists, and it sure doesn't
help all the other people being confused who will not search list
archives, I'm hoping (and I'm pretty sure) I'm not the only one being
stupid here.... :-) Remember, the spec will not only be read by native
English speakers, but also by a lot of people elsewhere.

Another issue is not only what has been said in the spec about some
abbrevations/acronym being spoken letter by letter on some read out, there
is also a concern that at least in Norwegian, som acronyms (?) like
"f.eks." which expands to "for eksempel" (you guess what it means in
English :-) ) would _always_ be expanded when read out, while many
abbrevations would very seldomly be expanded. If this is an issue that
should be addressed by I stylesheet or by the markup language, I don't
know, but it should be addressed.


Kjetil Kjernsmo
Graduate astronomy-student                    Problems worthy of attack
University of Oslo, Norway            Prove their worth by hitting back
E-mail: kjetikj@astro.uio.no                                - Piet Hein
Homepage <URL:http://www.astro.uio.no/~kjetikj/>
Received on Monday, 4 October 1999 11:57:51 UTC

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