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Re: Question about HTML abbr and acronym tags

From: Nicholas Shanks <contact@nickshanks.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 12:02:24 +0000
Cc: Wayne Pollock <wpollock@hccfl.edu>
Message-Id: <B9E3D03F-7FD1-4A3C-A552-72ACCCE29E68@nickshanks.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
On 7 Jan 2008, at 17:32, Wayne Pollock wrote:

> I too would like to see something like:
>   <abbr title="British Broadcasting Corporation" say="be be  
> see">BBC</abbr>

On my website I use the following markup for my county of residence,  

<ssml:phoneme alphabet="x-apple-macintalk"  
ph="hAXrtfIXdSIXr"><ssml:phoneme ph="h a1 r t f ah0 d sh ah0 r"  

SSML defines IPA to be the only registered alphabet, but the speech  
synthesisers on my machine use their own alphabets, and do not do  
conversion from IPA. I could put an IPA transcription there too, but  
haven't bothered yet. I have both rhotic and non-rhotic voices  
installed, and include the 'r' in the transcription so that the rhotic  
ones sound correct.

FWIW I define 'acronym' and 'abbreviation' as follows:

abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase
acronym: an abbreviation of a phrase constructed from the initial  
letters of its constituent words.

Acronyms, in good typographical environments (e.g. print), should be  
lettered in small-caps.
Abbreviations tend to be all lower case, or initial capital.
There are also some crazy hybrid things like "MySQL" which is a word  
and an acronym conjoined.

On teletext and their website, the BBC are notable for doing something  
weird, where acronyms pronounced as a word, such as NASA, are initial- 
caps only: Nasa. Acronyms pronounced letter by letter, such as BBC  
itself, are all caps. They don't use small-caps and give some lame  
'doesn't work in all environments' excuse. The same excuse they use  
for stripping all diacritics off foreign words.

- Nicholas.

Received on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 12:03:00 UTC

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