[whatwg] whatwg Digest, Vol 33, Issue 90 (Krzysztof ?elechowski)

Krzysztof Żelechowski giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl
Wed Dec 12 16:55:05 PST 2007

Dnia 13-12-2007, Cz o godzinie 00:43 +0000, Sam Kuper pisze:
> Dear Chris,
> From the Oxford English Dictionary online (accessed today):
> initialism: "The use of initials; a significative group of initial
> letters. Now spec. a group of initial letters used as an abbreviation
> for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced
> separately (contrasted with ACRONYM)."

You can use an axe as a hammer; that does not make it a hammer though.

> acronym: "A word formed from the initial letters of other words. Hence
> as v. trans., to convert into an acronym (chiefly pass. and as pa.
> pple.)."
> This is concordant with my understanding is that in English at least,
> acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, but not vice versa. That
> is, the set of English acronyms is a subset of the set of English
> abbreviations.
> Whether or not this is true of Polish, it should not be asserted of
> English. 

I admit I am no expert in English.  I was afraid presenting my examples
in Polish would not make much sense here.

> A multilingual standard should accommodate the existing
> practice and terminology of the languages to which it applies; it
> should not attempt to re-define those practices or terminologies.

That is just what I say: Removing ACRONYM because it is a special case
for/indistinguishable from ABBR makes HTML English-centric.

> (If you are not convinced, then consider this analogy: should the HTML
> spec have insisted that all languages marked up in HTML be written
> from left to right, using characters called 'a', 'b', 'c', etc?)
> Sorry to make the point so strongly.

Nothing wrong with that; strong points are easier to discuss.

> All best,


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