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Re: abbr and acronym

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 09:15:18 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.64.0703250903110.16963@mustatilhi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sat, 24 Mar 2007, David Woolley wrote:

> The reason that it is a special subset of abbreviation is that it requires
> special handling in text to speech applications.

Just as a reminder, the _real_ reason is that Microsoft invented acronym 
and Netscape invented abbr. Instead of solving the issue, the W3C 
introduced both, leaving their mutual relationship undefined and their 
semantics so vague that we're supposed to know that from the element 

> It is a source of frequent debate, on these lists!

Yes, it is easy to debate on something so vague, when you keep the 
discussion at a safely abstract level. People have presented many 
different arguments on why abbr and acronym _might_ be useful.
For example, spelling out is potentially adequate for some abbreviations
(like "WWW"), obligatory for some (like "e.g.," _if_ it is an 
abbreviation), and quite indequate for most abbreviations (including 
acronyms, but most abbreviations too - you _don't_ want to hear "HTML" or 
"ASCII" spelled out). Yet, we often see the argument in favor of abbr as 
allowing spelling out, with no consideration of this.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 25 March 2007 06:15:21 UTC

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