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Re: Relevance of providing (tm)in title and screen reader behaviour


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jul 22, 2014 11:14PM

2014-07-23 6:49, gayatri iyer wrote:> recently in one of page I had
encountered with "(tm)" in title and H1.
> e.g. XYZ resort(tm)
> Soneed to clarify the screen reader behavior & relevance of providing
> it in the title.

The notation “(tm)” is apparently meant to stand for the trademark
character “™”, presumably because the author did not know how to produce
it or was afraid that it might fail to work. I would expect screen
readers to read it by letters, “tee em”, possibly noting the parentheses
somehow. This is not too bad, and it is possible that a screen reader
does not know how to read “™” (which should be read “trademark” if the
text language is English and with a corresponding word or phrase in
another language otherwise).

So it is possible that the author was really thinking of screen readers
and made a compromise. Orthographically and visually, “(tm)” is not
correct of course, but it’s probably still comprehensible. Besides, it
might be better than “™”, since the glyph for the latter is often very
small, perhaps even illegible in normal copy test sizes.

It is a policy decision whether an indication of something being a
trademark is needed. It is normally made by the marketing department or
communications department, or maybe the legal department, and you just
need to live with it. Although mostly a nuisance to customers, such
indicators can sometimes even improve accessibility, by improving
comprehensibility: when a common word (say, “Windows”) is being used as
a trademark, an indicator like “(tm)” may help the visitor to understand
that it is a trademark and not used as a common word. Usually the
context makes such things clear, but you don’t always see the context;
in particular, a <title> attribute is supposed to specify an external
title that is understandable as standalone, in global context.