W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 2001

Re: ABBR vs ACRONYM, round 57894174803

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 12:50:15 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 12:23 PM 2/5/2001 , Sean B. Palmer wrote:
>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. 

Your last sentence should read:

"...if it is an abbreviated form or an initialism."

Because the <abbr> tag is for "abbreviated forms" (of all sorts), and
the <acronym> tag is for "initialisms."

There may be an argument which says that all initialisms should be
marked with the appropriate tag for initialisms (<acronym>), but in
all honesty I think that's stretching it, and the HTML spec itself
gives examples where <abbr> is used for initialisms, and thus it
cannot be considered -incorrect- usage.

Frankly, it all boils down to "the HTML 4.01 (and XHTML 1.0) spec
is broken", so just use <abbr> anyway.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Customer Management/Team Edapta
Reef North America
Tel +1 909-674-5225
Received on Monday, 5 February 2001 16:46:12 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:36:00 UTC