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Re: Acronyms and Abbreviations

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil.kjernsmo@astro.uio.no>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 21:23:14 +0200 (MET DST)
To: Jukka.Korpela@hut.fi
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.05.9910221239390.26399-100000@rasalhague>
On Fri, 22 Oct 1999 Jukka.Korpela@hut.fi wrote:

>ABBR is assumably not supported by any browser in common use. So it's
>still not too late to clear things up: deprecate ACRONYM, and rewrite
>http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/text.html#edef-ABBR
>so that it discusses abbreviations in general, with no attempt to
>distinguish between acronyms and other abbreviations.

I agree completely. 
I think making a distinction would only be useful if indeed acronym is
defined as stated by Ryan. However, as one can see from the excerpt posted
by Liam,
<URL:http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Oct/0082.html>, this
distinction is buried rather deep in the text, and it is even less clear
from dictionaries I have looked into. Consequently, very few authors will
appreciate the distinction, if this indeed is the distinction (I have
no idea), I note this is even controversial among list members.

Even worse, as pointed out by Dario,
<URL:http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Oct/0088.html>, the 
definition and usage will differ from language to language, and so it is
indeed very problematic to have a definition of an element that is
connected to any particular language. So if Ryan is correct in that the
distinction is based on pronounciation, then the element is really not
something good, in light of i18n. 

As I see it, the existence of both ACRONYM and ABBR only adds to the
confusion, and it serves no (or very little compared to all the
confusion) purpose to have it like that. Since acronyms seems to be a
subset of abbrevations, ACRONYM should be deprecated. A discussion on
whether a ABBR should have a TYPE-attribute might be interesting, however.  

Best,

Kjetil
-- 
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/>
Webmaster@skepsis.no 
Received on Friday, 22 October 1999 15:23:37 GMT

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