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Re: WCAG 2 draft and abbreviations


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: May 31, 2007 12:10PM

On Thu, 31 May 2007, Christophe Strobbe wrote:

> I have checked over 20 dictionaries and linguistic
> references in 5 different languages (admittedly a small sample [1])
> and found no consistency with regard to the pronunciation of
> acronyms. That's why WCAG doesn't require that acronyms can be
> pronounced as a word.

If the word "acronym" has no consistent meaning, it should not be used -
especially in a normative document. Introducing it as separately defined
technical term would be possible in principle, but WCAG cannot change
HTML, where "acronym" is a hopelessly messed-up word.

"Acronym" was Microsoft word for abbreviation. That's why IE _still_ does
not recognize <abbr> (except in the sense that IE 7, finally, includes it
into the parsed document tree). It's time to stop trying to make sense of
this nonsense. Those tags are useless, or worse. Concentrate on making
textual content of web pages understandable to all people, using other
means than such markup.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/