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Re: Marking Up Acronym and Abbreviations

From: Simon Jessey <simon@jessey.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 17:28:17 -0500
Message-ID: <004e01c2c7e5$b88cf940$6601a8c0@Simon2S0JP11>
To: <www-html@w3.org>

I am not sure I agree with this. I have no experience of screen readers, but
I imagine they handle abbreviations (which should be spelled out letter by
letter) differently to acronyms (which should be read like a word). Acronyms
are defined as letter sequences made from the first letters of words that
are then read out as words in their own right, as in the case of NATO and
NASA. This is also referred to as 'initialism', as David points out. It
seems to me that alternative uses for <abbr> and <acronym> that are
language-specific should be handled by the 'lang' attribute.

Simon Jessey

w: http://jessey.net/blog/
e: simon@jessey.net

From: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>

> Some people have suggested that there are at least three categories:
> 1) truncated forms of words;
> 2) letter sequences formed from the initial characters of words (some
>    people have coined the term initialism for these);
> 3) the sub-case of (2) which are normally pronounced as though they were
>    words in their own right (my, UK, understanding of acronym).
> Because of the level of confusion, and the difficulty of getting anyone
> to comply with the even the most fundamental abstraction concepts in
> HTML, I suspect collapsing them into one category is the only thing that
> might work, for the <5% of people that will bother to mark them at all.
Received on Wednesday, 29 January 2003 17:28:24 UTC

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