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Re: Punctuation in lists

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 09:48:43 -0400
Message-Id: <s8fc2f86.084@mail.nysed.gov>
To: <bbailey@clark.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi Bruce:
     It is my experience that list items with punctuation
definitely make more sense with speech output than
items without such punctuation.  I prefer periods following list items since this causes what I consider to be the most natural audio rendition.  That is, it comes closest to the way someone would read the list out loud, a short pause between the list items.  Without periods directly adjacent to the word (for single word list items), it sounds as if the word is being, what I very loosely refer to as, "chopped off".  In such cases I have to repeatedly give the SayWord command to try to understand it.  Sometimes I even have to go into Jaws cursor mode and spell out the word letter by letter.
many variables are involved, however, with settings that control the amount of punctuation spoken.  
I usually have my punctuation set to "say most", rather than "all" or "some".  This is, I would guess, a highly variable choice depending on preferrence and maybe even type of list.
If I understand the issue, it is however 
more of a speech synthesizer issue rather than a screen reader issue, although both can affect how punctuation is pronounced and the associated pause behavior.


Steve McCaffrey
Senior Programmer/Analyst
Information Technology Services
New York State Department of Education
New York State Workgroup on Accessibility to Information Technology 
Web Design Subcommittee 

>>> "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net> 04/18/00 09:03AM >>>
Dear Group,

I have been in the habit of ending list items with punctuation.  I do this
because my earlier experience with screen readers was that they did not
pause at all at the end of each list item.  I have gotten some grief for
this since the practice is, at best, questionable from a grammatical point
of view.  Is this practice still necessary?  Is it advisable?  HTML 3.2 had
DIR and MENU but these have been deprecated.  Is there any appropriate mark
up to differentiate a list where each bulleted item is one or two words each
versus a list where each item may be one or two sentences, or even multiple
paragraphs?  Do any screen readers treat any of the unordered list types

Thank you.
Received on Tuesday, 18 April 2000 09:50:09 UTC

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