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Re: [csswg-drafts] Informal spellings in specifications (#5850)

From: Alice via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2021 22:20:28 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-757554061-1610317227-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
I can only second everything @rachelandrew said, and agree with @plinss that we should be aiming for readability. 

The advice on contractions is based on advice from professional copy-editors that they improve readability, e.g. https://stroppyeditor.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/contractions-which-are-common-and-which-arent/ (which is also linked in the style guide), and backed up by anecdotal reports from speakers of English as a second language.

It would be good to find analogous evidence for or against non-standard spelling; the fact that @SebastianZ filed this issue is a strong start in the "against" direction.

My personal opinion is that a technical spec isn't the place to try and move the needle on not-yet-standardard spellings like those mentioned above: specs are tough enough to read already, without added speed bumps from non-standard spelling.

As @plinss noted, we don't have any advice for spec language currently, and creating a style guide for specs would be a big project. However, honestly I think we probably only need to convince one or possibly two people to change practices in this specific instance.

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