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Re: Acronyms and Abbreviations

From: Neil Gulati <ngulati@scu.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 11:45:27 +1000 (EST)
Message-Id: <199910220145.LAA09269@cyclops.scu.edu.au>
To: www-html@w3.org
At last, we are getting through to some sense!
I agree, and I differ.
Who cares what the terminology is, what are the tags USED FOR?
If the issue of pronouncability etc. is dealt with by CSS,
why have both acronym and abbreviation tags?
Why have either?

>Several people on the list have claimed that the difference between
>acronyms and abbreviations (or that the difference between <acronym> and
><abbr>) is one of pronunciation. I differ. That cannot be the difference
>between acronyms and abbreviations, as then we'd need *three* words in
>English for things of this sort -- one for when the truncation is
>pronounced spelled-out (e.g., "SQL" or "WWW" for most people), one for
>when it's read as a word (e.g., "NAFTA" for most people) and one for when
>it's replaced in pronunciation by what it stands for (e.g., "Mlle." or
>"etc." for most people). Likewise, if pronunciation is the difference
>between <abbr> and <acronym>, we need a third tag.
>
>Rather, I feel (as others have written) that the difference between an
>abbreviation and an acronym (in American English, at least) is that an
>abbreviation is a truncation (e.g., "etc.", "Mlle.", "M.", "Mr.", "et 
>al.", "i.e.", "e.g.") wheareas an acronym is taken from the initial
>letters of words (e.g., "FBI", "F.B.I.", "SQL", "NAFTA", "IHNWIJLS",
>"LOL", "WYSIWYG", "M."). (Yes, I know I listed "M." twice.) Any rules for 
>pronunciation can be taken care of with style sheets; CSS already has a 
>rule for spell-out, and can easily have a rule for read-contents-of-title-
>attribute-instead-of-the-text.

Neil.
Received on Thursday, 21 October 1999 21:44:20 GMT

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