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RE: State names - use abbreviations or spell out?


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Apr 26, 2005 9:41PM

On Tue, 26 Apr 2005, John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:

>> Try: <acronym title="Virginia">VA</acronym>

Is "VA" an acronym? For some meanings of "acronym", yes. For the most
natural meaning ('a word originally formed as an acronym, such as
"radar"'), definitely not - and for that meaning, the correct browser
behavior (in speech) would be to pronounce it as a word.

Given the natural meaning, it would be foolish for a speech browser not to
read the acronym itself. It's a word, and should be spoken as the word.

The pragmatist might say that we need not fear that browsers will
generally implement <acronym> the right way, since the element will be
phased out in XHTML 2. But that's far-fetched.

>> As for wy acronym instead of abbr, check the archives, this has been around
>> about a hundred times before, but the simple answer is that IE does not yet
>> support <abbr>

The simple answer is that neither <acronym> nor <abbr> makes much sense,
since the elements lack reasonably clear definitions and the
implementations vary from poor to miserable. IE's lack of all support to
<abbr> is just part of the "poor" side.

Besides, for about 6 billion people or so, "VA" is not a common
abbreviation, or means something quite different from "Virginia".
Thus, use the name, except in contexts where it is conventional to use
"VA", such as in US postal addresses. (When I see such an address
and need to use it, I will just copy it verbatim, and I need not know what
"VA" means - it's just part of a code-like notation.)

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