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Re: Abbreviations and Acronyms: [techs] Latest HTML Techniques Draft

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 15:02:49 -0500 (EST)
To: Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG <rscano@iwa-italy.org>
Cc: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, www-html@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0312110714030.30265@homer.w3.org>

In spanish (as used in Spain and defined by the royal academy, the
official standardisation body) the difference is as follows:

An acronym is something where you pronounce what is printed: "UN" or "HTML"
An abbreviation is something where you pronounce the full word: "Mrs" or
"Monday" (for mon.)

There is also the term in english "initialism", which I think corresponds to
the french "sigle" or spanish "siglas". In spanish it is a type of acronym.

I don't think it is as clear in english. The common reference for english
varieties of english would be Fowlers Usage (published by Oxford) but I don't
know what is regarded as standard for en-US.

For languages like Spanish, French, Latin and Icelandic (as spoken in Spain,
France and the Catholic Church and Iceland respectively) there is a legal
body which defines standards. English as far as I know doesn't have one
anywhere (although there are various bodies in soe english-speaking countries
which do deal with plain language, typically for legal stuff). So I don't
know if there is a standard english definition of the difference betgween
these two terms.



On Thu, 11 Dec 2003, Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG wrote:

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>
>To: <www-html@w3.org>
>Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
>Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 12:47 PM
>Subject: Re: Abbreviations and Acronyms: [techs] Latest HTML Techniques
>title="Organisation des Nations Unies"
>(to be pronounced as words)
>becomes in english
>title="United Nations"
>(to be spelled out letter by letter)
>Roberto Scano:
>Hum... IMHO all the two text are acronym and not abbreviation. UN is not
>abbreviation but Acronym... an abbreviation could be:
>A question for clarify: the abbreviation must end with a . (eg., Mr.,
>Mon., Jan., ...) ?

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Tuesday, 24 February 2004 15:02:54 UTC

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