[whatwg] [HTML5] 3.10.9. The |abbr| element
lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Thu Nov 2 01:49:23 PST 2006
Jonathan Worent wrote:
> --- Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper at crissov.de> wrote:
>> First off I think the requirement for a |title| is too strict,
>> because there are time and space saving abbreviations everyone
>> knows -- i.e. either their expansion or their meaning -- that do
>> not need an expansion, e.g. "e.g." or "AIDS". Therefore the second
>> sentence should use 'may', not 'should'.
> I disagree. There is never a guarantee that people will know what an
> abbreviation stands for, I know what AIDS is but not what it stands
If you know what AIDS means, does it really matter that you don't know
it stands for "Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome"? Does it really
matter you don't know that DNA stands for "Deoxyribonucleic acid", that
radar stands for "Radio Detection and Ranging", that i.e. stands for "id
est", or that e.g. stands for "exempli gratia"? In most cases, it doesn't.
Those abbreviations are so common, that, in the common cases, it really
doesn't matter for the reader what their expansions are, their meaning
is already understood. In fact, for those cases, it's usually not
necessary to even mark it up as an abbreviation (particularly i.e. and
e.g.). It all depends on your target audience and the purpose of the
e.g. Say a news site is reporting some new genetics research and
mentions DNA. It's not necessary for the site to provide the expansion.
In fact, most people wouldn't have a clue what Deoxyribonucleic acid
means (if they can even pronounce it), so providing that expansion would
be completely pointless. However, in a scientific article that is
trying to explain what DNA is to a scientist, yes it would be useful to
supply the expansion.
Abbreviation expansions should only be supplied when they help the
reader to understand the content, not just because the word happens to
be an abbreviation.
This online book also provides some very useful information.
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