Phrase markup (was Re: Aural Cascading Style Sheets)
This following are my personal opinions and do *not* reflect
current W3C specs:
I think there is a good case for markup to indicate how to speak
certain words or phrases, when this also serves to amplify the
For instance, indicate that something is an acronym, abbreviation,
a person's name etc. It makes sense in some cases to specify the
long form as an attribute, e.g. one could write
<acronym for="Cascading Style Sheets">CSS</acronym>
<person fullname="David St.John Raggett">Dave</person>
Note that GUI browsers could in principle use these attributes for
balloon help when the mouse is held over the word in question.
If a name is from a different language then different pronunciation
rules will apply, this can be handled via the language attribute, e.g.
<person lang=fr>Jean François Dupont</person>
For really hard to pronounce phrases, perhaps its worth considering
an attribute for specifying the pronunciation using the International
Phonetic Alphabet. Can anyone give me a lead on how to represent
IPC characters conveniently using ASCII? Is there an agreed set
of SGML entities?
It would be great to collect suggestions for enlarging the set
of phrase tags for future versions of HTML. Is there a core
set that will meet say 95% of people's needs?
Dave Raggett, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +1 617 258 5741, fax: +1 617 258 5999