[Editorial] Text alternatives


The editors of the various documents found themselves discussing the
question of whether the term "text alternatives" (in Guideline 1.1 and
elsewhere) should
be hyphenated. I took an action item to investigate, and posed the
question to my colleagues in the Division of Rhetoric and Composition
(aka the writing
faculty) here at UT Austin. The response has been unanimous:
"Text alternatives" should *not* be hyphenated. It is a compound noun.
It should be hyphenated only if used as an adjective (I don't believe we
use it that
way anywhere).
Accordingly, the editors have decided that the term "text alternatives"
will be used without hyphenation throughout WCAG 2.0 and related
documents, and
will be linked to a definition in the glossary; the fact that the link
text includes both words will help make the connection clear to readers.
If anyone's interested, the references my colleagues cited in support
were: The Modern Language Association's Handbook of Style (authoritative
for scholars
in literature and modern languages and a number of other humanities
fields), the American Psychological Association Style Manual
(authoritative for the
social sciences, also accepted in many literary and humanities
journals), the Chicago Manual of Style (generally authoritative for
trade publishers and
others)-- Chicago allows for a little leeway here but recommends against
hyphenating; and Garner's Modern American Usage (Oxford University
Press, 2003).

"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/



Received on Friday, 1 October 2004 15:38:07 UTC