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Re: Abbreviations and Acronyms

From: Tim Bagot <tsb@earth.li>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 08:08:31 +0000 (UTC)
To: HTML mailing list <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.991015075610.3836U-100000@c32.keble.ox.ac.uk>
On Fri, 15 Oct 1999, Ryan Fischer wrote:

> You wrote:
> > If there were a way to tell a user agent how to pronounce a
> > word, would it not be more sensible to extend aural CSS and
> > use the Internation Phonetic Alphabet?
> Yes it would be.  I totally agree.  The fact that this functionality
> already exists (or is close to existing -- that I don't recall) had
> slipped my mind and I indicated that in a different post.  As for using
> the Internation Phonetic Alphabet, I agree with that, too.  At least,
> that would make the most sense.  I just wasn't sure if the spellings I
> saw at dictionary.com or the ones I recalled myself were correct, so I
> improvised.

One possible problem with using the IPA is that it might be too
prescriptive. For example, if I give a word a specifically British
pronunciation, then it may sound out of place when when rendered into
speech on a system configured for American English. Of course, I could set
the document's language to en-GB rather than just en, suggesting to the UA
that the whole document should be rendered as British English, but this is
not necessarily always desirable, as the presentation may then overwhelm
the content (assuming that the UA is capable of this).

Having said that, I really can't think of a better solution which doesn't
involve a lot more work on the part of the author. I suppose it is just
about feasible that a UA could be provided with a set of phonetic
transformations between language variants, but that is at least slightly

Tim Bagot
Received on Friday, 15 October 1999 04:06:53 UTC

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