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RE: ABBR vs ACRONYM, round 57894174803

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 15:42:36 -0500
Message-ID: <5DCA49BDD2B0D41186CE00508B6BEBD030056C@wdcrobexc01.ed.gov>
To: "'Sean B. Palmer'" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Are there actually any practical (e.g. acessibility) reasons for using
> <abbr> instead of <acronym>? As long as people can understand what the
> phrase has been shortened from, they can probably work out for themselves
> if it is an abbreviation or an acronym. Maybe using <span> would be
> better.
Sure, IE "explains" ABBR (via mouse-over pop-up) but does nothing for
ACRONYM.  Like everyone else, this is helpful for people with learning
disabilities.  I choose between ABBR and ACRONYM based on a faint irrational
hope that the next generation of screen readers will make some distinction
(spell-out vs. pronounce-as-word) between the two.

> Am I joking, or what? Well, XHTML has a certain amount of semantics
> attached to the elements... although a lot have been transfered over to
> CSS. However, I think it is useful if some of the semantics were to remain
> with the elements. Note that I am using the term "semantics" to include
> all
> meaning: presentational as well.
As unlikely as the screen reader vendors are to be on recognizing a
difference between ABBR and and ACRONYM, I think widespread support (by
vendors, let alone authors) of speech-oriented CSS is even less likely. 

> Anyway, I don't think this is one of the most important XHTML topics, only
> a very small part of one of the more larger debates (that of presentation
> vs. content, which I'm not going to argue right now).
Received on Monday, 5 February 2001 15:42:59 UTC

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