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Re: acronym and abbreviation markup - insert full stops??

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 02:46:43 +0100
Message-ID: <4349C803.1030600@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Rebecca Cox wrote:

> I was discussing markup for abbreviations and acronyms the other day and it was suggested that it might be useful to add in a full stop between each letter, where the term should be pronounced letter by letter rather than phonetically, so as to force screen readers to do so. 
> For example <acronym>B.B.C</acronym> for BBC.

Purely from gut feeling I'd say that no, you shouldn't put those extra 
full stops in there, as it's the screen reader's responsibility to read 
out the acronym correctly. You're already giving enough of a hint by 
wrapping it in the correct element. Otherwise we end up coding to the 
whims of specific user agents again...

(Of course, this is the purist/elitist in me speaking. If you find that 
a large percentage of your current visitors are indeed having major 
problems understanding your pages because their screen readers are 
mistakenly trying to pronounce an acronym that should be spelled out, 
then it may well be a necessary evil to sully your writing style).

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Monday, 10 October 2005 01:46:54 UTC

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