<abbr> and <acronym>

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Hi group,

    I am wondering:

    1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good reason
    for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_, not
    in the title attribute, shouldn't it?

    2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    <abbr>)?

    I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.

    Regards,
    Marcus
    Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    > Hi group,
    >
    > I am wondering:
    >
    > 1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good reason
    > for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    > abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_, not
    > in the title attribute, shouldn't it?
    >
    > 2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    > <abbr>)?
    >
    > I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.


    Because they are not the same, some abbreviations can be acronyms but
    not all abbreviations are acronyms.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=abbreviation
    Dictionary.com/abbreviation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbreviation
    Abbreviation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=acronym
    Dictionary.com/acronym

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym
    Acronym and initialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Feb 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jonathan N. Little wrote:

    > Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >> Hi group,
    >>
    >> I am wondering:
    >>
    >> 1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good
    >> reason for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    >> abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_,
    >> not in the title attribute, shouldn't it?
    >>
    >> 2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    >> <abbr>)?
    >>
    >> I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.

    >
    > Because they are not the same, some abbreviations can be acronyms
    > but not all abbreviations are acronyms.


    Thanks for the reply, but I am not that ignorant...

    The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.

    So: what's the use of the <acronym> element?
    Why not just always use <abbr>? Is it for some reason
    important to know that some abbreviation is an acronym?

    Regards,
    Marcus

    --
    What is life but a series of inspired follies? -- George Bernard Shaw
    Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006
    #3
  4. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:

    > The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.


    What word is RADAR an abbreviation for?

    --
    -bts
    -Warning: I brake for lawn deer
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Feb 13, 2006
    #4
  5. Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:

    > Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >
    >> The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.

    >
    > What word is RADAR an abbreviation for?


    rather off-topic:

    RAdio Detection And Ranging

    Regards,
    Marcus

    --
    Sometimes the delete key is your greatest friend. -- Steve Martin
    Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006
    #5
  6. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:

    > Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
    >
    >> Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>
    >>> The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.

    >>
    >> What word is RADAR an abbreviation for?

    >
    > rather off-topic:


    Off-topic? <lol>

    > RAdio Detection And Ranging


    That is four words. Your comment: "all acronyms are abbreviations"
    has just been proved .. um .. false? :)

    --
    -bts
    -Warning: I brake for lawn deer
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Feb 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:

    >>> Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.
    >>>
    >>> What word is RADAR an abbreviation for?

    >>
    >> rather off-topic:

    >
    > Off-topic? <lol>
    >
    >> RAdio Detection And Ranging

    >
    > That is four words. Your comment: "all acronyms are abbreviations"
    > has just been proved .. um .. false? :)


    Absolutely not: who said that an abbreviation has to be an
    abbreviation for only *one* word???

    Wikipedia: "Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations such as NATO,
    laser, or scuba, ..."

    And please stop splitting hairs, I really would appreciate some
    serious replies to my original post.

    Regards,
    Marcus

    --
    He is a marvellous amateur violinist, although he cannot read music
    and can play only one note. -- W. Allen
    Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006
    #7
  8. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    > Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
    >


    [snip re: <abbr> and <acronym>

    > I really would appreciate some
    > serious replies to my original post.
    >


    As far as I can tell, the reason why <acronym> persits is because IE
    supports styles and title attributes for <acronym> but doesn't seem to
    know anything about <abbr> (at least up to v.6, anyway; I don't know
    what IE7 is doing).

    Nick

    --
    Nick Theodorakis

    contact form:
    http://theodorakis.net/contact.html
    Nick Theodorakis, Feb 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Marcus Stollsteimer

    Guest

    RADAR is also a palindrome:)
    , Feb 13, 2006
    #9
  10. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:

    > Jonathan N. Little wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>
    >>>Hi group,
    >>>
    >>>I am wondering:
    >>>
    >>>1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good
    >>>reason for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    >>>abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_,
    >>>not in the title attribute, shouldn't it?
    >>>
    >>>2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    >>><abbr>)?
    >>>
    >>>I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.

    >>
    >>Because they are not the same, some abbreviations can be acronyms
    >>but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

    >
    >
    > Thanks for the reply, but I am not that ignorant...
    >
    > The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.
    >
    > So: what's the use of the <acronym> element?
    > Why not just always use <abbr>? Is it for some reason
    > important to know that some abbreviation is an acronym?
    >


    You asked what the difference was, I told you. If you want to use <abbr>
    for all, so be it, if you want to be more specific for your acronyms
    then use <acronym> [shrugs] One note though, you of course know that
    Billy's IE doesn't recognize the <abbr> element...

    With respect to #1, sure no one is preventing you from putting a
    definition with your text, or better yet, make it a link to a glossary page!

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Feb 13, 2006
    #10
  11. Jonathan N. Little wrote:

    > Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >
    >> Jonathan N. Little wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Hi group,
    >>>>
    >>>>I am wondering:
    >>>>
    >>>>1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good
    >>>>reason for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    >>>>abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_,
    >>>>not in the title attribute, shouldn't it?
    >>>>
    >>>>2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    >>>><abbr>)?
    >>>>
    >>>>I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.
    >>>
    >>>Because they are not the same, some abbreviations can be acronyms
    >>>but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

    >>
    >>
    >> Thanks for the reply, but I am not that ignorant...
    >>
    >> The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.
    >>
    >> So: what's the use of the <acronym> element?
    >> Why not just always use <abbr>? Is it for some reason
    >> important to know that some abbreviation is an acronym?
    >>

    >
    > You asked what the difference was, I told you.


    of course I meant the difference of the HTML elements

    > If you want to use
    > <abbr> for all, so be it, if you want to be more specific for your
    > acronyms then use <acronym> [shrugs] One note though, you of course
    > know that Billy's IE doesn't recognize the <abbr> element...


    now that is some information

    > With respect to #1, sure no one is preventing you from putting a
    > definition with your text, or better yet, make it a link to a
    > glossary page!



    Regards,
    Marcus

    --
    It is awfully hard work doing nothing. -- Oscar Wilde
    Marcus Stollsteimer, Feb 13, 2006
    #11
  12. Marcus Stollsteimer

    Jim Moe Guest

    Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >
    > 2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    > <abbr>)?
    >

    The primary reason for choosing <acronym> over <abbr> is that IE
    completely ignores <abbr>.

    --
    jmm (hyphen) list (at) sohnen-moe (dot) com
    (Remove .AXSPAMGN for email)
    Jim Moe, Feb 13, 2006
    #12
  13. On Mon, 13 Feb 2006, Jim Moe wrote:

    > The primary reason for choosing <acronym> over <abbr> is that IE
    > completely ignores <abbr>.


    It would be extremely rude to mark-up a non-acronym abbreviation as
    <acronym> merely for the purpose of pandering to IE (<=6).

    There *are* other solutions, after all.
    Alan J. Flavell, Feb 13, 2006
    #13
  14. Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    > Jonathan N. Little wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Jonathan N. Little wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>Hi group,
    >>>>>
    >>>>>I am wondering:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good
    >>>>>reason for using them in the first place)? When the meaning of the
    >>>>>abbreviation is not clear, it should be explained in the _text_,
    >>>>>not in the title attribute, shouldn't it?
    >>>>>
    >>>>>2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    >>>>><abbr>)?
    >>>>>
    >>>>>I would appreciate some hints regarding these questions.
    >>>>
    >>>>Because they are not the same, some abbreviations can be acronyms
    >>>>but not all abbreviations are acronyms.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Thanks for the reply, but I am not that ignorant...
    >>>
    >>>The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.
    >>>
    >>>So: what's the use of the <acronym> element?
    >>>Why not just always use <abbr>? Is it for some reason
    >>>important to know that some abbreviation is an acronym?
    >>>

    >>
    >>You asked what the difference was, I told you.

    >
    >
    > of course I meant the difference of the HTML elements


    1. twice the number of letters
    2. 2 B's or C,O,N,Y, & M!

    ;-)

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Feb 13, 2006
    #14
  15. Jim Moe wrote:

    > Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >
    >>2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    >><abbr>)?
    >>

    >
    > The primary reason for choosing <acronym> over <abbr> is that IE
    > completely ignores <abbr>.
    >


    Ignore IE right back!

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Feb 13, 2006
    #15
  16. Marcus Stollsteimer

    Spartanicus Guest

    Marcus Stollsteimer <> wrote:

    [About <abbr> and <acronym>]

    >1. how should these elements be best used (and what is a good reason
    >for using them in the first place)?


    You've not told us what qualifications you would apply to consider
    something a "good" reason. The basic reason to use most markup is to
    apply structure and semantics to the content. In that sense
    abbreviations and acronyms are no different from headings and
    paragraphs.

    Things get shady when you start looking for real world practical
    benefits. Some speech renderers can be configured to read out title
    content for abbreviations and acronyms, but as you can imagine that
    becomes a pain if the abbreviation is used more than once and title
    content is provided every time.

    In theory, for the benefit of speech agents abbreviations and acronyms
    should be supplied with meta data that indicates whether it should be
    spelled out or pronounced as a word (for example NATO). This can be done
    with aural CSS, but the only clients that support the required CSS are
    Emacspeak (used by practically no-one), and Opera. Opera's speech engine
    is not installed by default, and Opera's speech capabilities are
    intended to encourage development of applications that use voice
    operation of the browser. Opera is not suitable to be used as an AT
    browser.

    AT speech renderers use built in lists of commonly used abbreviations
    and render them in a pre configured way, some are spelled out, others
    are expanded, regardless of whether the abbreviation is marked up or
    naked.

    >When the meaning of the abbreviation is not clear


    How would you know? whether or not *you* know the meaning of an
    abbreviation doesn't mean that a visitor will know.

    >, it should be explained in the _text_, not
    >in the title attribute, shouldn't it?


    Expanding an abbreviation in round brackets after it's first usage on a
    page is a good practice when it can reasonably be expected that the
    resource will be read from the top down. This may not work if the
    resource is linked to with fragment anchors.

    >2. what is the difference between them (or: why not always use
    ><abbr>)?


    IIRC the XHTML 2 proposals have dropped the <acronym> element because of
    the reasoning you mentioned elsewhere in the thread: that acronyms are a
    special form of abbreviations.

    --
    Spartanicus
    Spartanicus, Feb 13, 2006
    #16
  17. wrote:

    > RADAR is also a palindrome:)


    and a corporal.

    --
    try speed dating
    Disco Octopus, Feb 13, 2006
    #17
  18. Marcus Stollsteimer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <> wrote:

    > Marcus Stollsteimer wrote:
    >
    > > The point is: all acronyms are abbreviations.

    >
    > What word is RADAR an abbreviation for?


    "radar" is not an acronym.

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Feb 14, 2006
    #18
  19. Marcus Stollsteimer

    Jim Moe Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:
    >
    >> The primary reason for choosing <acronym> over <abbr> is that IE
    >> completely ignores <abbr>.

    >
    > It would be extremely rude to mark-up a non-acronym abbreviation as
    > <acronym> merely for the purpose of pandering to IE (<=6).
    >

    It is not wise to ignore the elephant in the living room.

    --
    jmm (hyphen) list (at) sohnen-moe (dot) com
    (Remove .AXSPAMGN for email)
    Jim Moe, Feb 14, 2006
    #19
  20. Marcus Stollsteimer

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Tue, 14 Feb 2006 00:19:26 -0700, Jim Moe
    <> wrote:

    >> It would be extremely rude to mark-up a non-acronym abbreviation as
    >> <acronym> merely for the purpose of pandering to IE (<=6).
    >>

    > It is not wise to ignore the elephant in the living room.


    If we don't feed it, we're hoping that the elephant will waste away and
    disappear. The elephant's child is already a sickly beast.
    Andy Dingley, Feb 14, 2006
    #20
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