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Re: Marking Up Acronym and Abbreviations

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 23:47:12 +0200 (EET)
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.51.0301292324440.15430@kruuna.Helsinki.FI>

On 2003-01-29, David Woolley uttered to www-html@w3.org:

>Because of the level of confusion, and the difficulty of getting anyone
>to comply with the even the most fundamental abstraction concepts in
>HTML, I suspect collapsing them into one category is the only thing that
>might work, for the <5% of people that will bother to mark them at all.

Strongly agreed, eventhough I've spent considerable time getting my site
to get both forms "right" -- I have absolutely no idea how close to the
"truth" my personal interpretation is, and I fear my markup might well
lead semantically oriented browsers astray. Also, the fact is, even in the
English language quite a number of a-somethings are difficult to fit into
the two existing categories. Say, "CUseeMe", "P2P" or "i18n". Across
languages the problem becomes even worse.

As for the example given, in my native tongue, Finnish, NATO is mostly
written "Nato", which is a proper noun and pronounced as such. The same
goes for many other crystallized or semi-crystallized forms of
acronyms/abbreviations. In English, "radar" and "sonar" serve as good

I'd absolutely abhor to figure out how all of this works in Chinese,
Japanese or Inuit, all of which HTML is supposed to cover.

If it's abbreviated, make it into a single element. Even that won't
resolve all of the issues, but in the end, it's better to have a single
abbreviated form than a larger-than-necessary confusion.
Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - mailto:decoy@iki.fi, tel:+358-50-5756111
student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
Received on Wednesday, 29 January 2003 16:47:41 UTC

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