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Re: Question about HTML abbr and acronym tags

From: Peter Neumann <chiaki@dark-chiaki.net>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:12:48 +0100
Message-Id: <950341801@web.de>
To: Wayne Pollock <pollock@acm.org>
Cc: www-html@w3.org

Hello Wayne,

I'm not a member of the W3C, so I'm not able to tell you something about their understanding of ABBR and ACRONYM used with plurals. But I found a Discussion on the web about this, fell free to take a look at it:
>> http://www.accessifyforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=54811

My own opinion is, that every markup have to meet the specific requirements in the single and the entire context as well as the meanings of the text. Also think about orthography and grammar in both the short and long term.

For example, lets rewrite the following piece of text:
... unique IDs in a table...

If you mark this up with
... unique <abbr title="Identities">IDs</abbr> in a table...
it will be displayed by browsers as
.. unique IDs in a table...
and will be read out by screen-readers as
.. unique Identities in a table...

Now, if you mark the example up with
... unique <abbr title="Identity">ID</abbr>s in a table...
it will be displayed by browsers still as
.. unique IDs in a table...
but will be read out by screen-readers as
.. unique Identitys in a table...
where the word "Identitys" would be orthographically wrong.

In summary, for most cases the entire abbreviation/acronym should be enclosed in the corresponding tag with the entire term written out in the title attribute. For language dependent content you have the attributes lang="..." (HTML) and xml:lang="..." (XHTML). Relaying on user-agent abilities and features shouldn't be the way of thinking.

Hope this will be somewhat helpful.

Best regards,
Peter Neumann

"Wayne Pollock" <pollock@acm.org> (2007-12-28 18:39):
> What is the intent of the HTML standard on handling plurals of
> acronyms and/or abbreviations?  Is it expected that user agents
> (especially non-visual ones) will understand something such as
> 	<abbr>ISP</abbr>s
> Or is it necessary to use
> 	<abbr>ISPs</abbr>
> Thanks!
> -Wayne Pollock, pollock@acm.org

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Received on Monday, 7 January 2008 15:13:05 UTC

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