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Re: Abbrevations and Acronyms

From: John Whelan <whelan@itp.unibe.ch>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:25:02 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <199910071324.PAA16370@itpserver>
Neil Gulati wrote:

> I understand:
> Abbreviation:
> A shortening of an existing dictionary word.
> e.g. Doctor->Dr. Telephone-> 'phone.
> Acronym:
> A new word made up of the initial letters of other words.
> This is usually a naming convention. An acronym is a noun.
> e.g. Search for Extra-Terrestial Intelligence->SETI.

The problem is that in the examples given in the HTML4 spec
<http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/text.html#h-9.2.1>, <abbr> is
used to mark up acronyms like WWW, HTTP, URI, and SCNF which are not
pronounced as though they were words, while <acronym> is reserved for
things like NATO and WAC.  I'm not sure if making the distinction in
this way helps or hinders speech engines; some acronyms are
pronounced, others are spelled out, and a few are replaced by their
expansions.  I would have thought the third option was the default for
					John T. Whelan
Received on Thursday, 7 October 1999 09:26:22 UTC

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