WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: State names - use abbreviations or spell out?


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Apr 26, 2005 10:55PM

On Tue, 26 Apr 2005, Don Hinshaw wrote:

>> I may not have been clear about the context of my question: it is indeed
>> a postal address.

Then the normal use of the data is for verbatim copying.

>> But what about the user who doesn't /see/ "VA", but
>> hears it...it might not be clear at all what that meant, no?

It need not be clear. It's just part of the address.

>> It seems to me then that the word should be spelled out for maximum
>> clarity.

Since "VA" should be copied as such for use on an envelope, for example,
it should be read as literally as possible. The best way to promote this
in the present situation is to use no markup around it.

(If I heard a postal address spoken, with "VA" read as "Virginia", I would
not know that I need to write "VA" for "Virginia". Maybe I would know that
US postal address should contain certain conventional abbreviations, or
codes, of state names rather than names themselves, and maybe I could
find a reference on them. But things are easier when I need not know.)

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