abbr or acronym for currency codes?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by dnn, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. dnn

    dnn Guest

    Dear list

    Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr or
    acronym tag?

    I am interested in your best practice on this matter.

    Thx.
    Nico
     
    dnn, Apr 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. dnn wrote:

    > Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr or
    > acronym tag?


    No. See http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/abbr.html for an explanation
    of the uselessness of abbr and acronym markup.

    Technically, currency codes are neither acronyms nor abbreviations,
    though they have originally been formed as abbreviations. But this is
    irrelevant here.

    If you use the codes, explain them in normal page content, preferably
    _before_ use. Better still, don't use them but use names or, in some
    cases, symbols like $, €, and £, if all readers can be expected to
    recognize them. The currency codes are meant to be used internally in
    data processing systems as well as visibly in some international banking
    business contexts etc., _not_ in normal text. If you think abbr or
    acronym would help, this is an example of such markup being worse than
    useless, since it pushes you into doing something wrong.
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Apr 19, 2006
    #2
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  3. While the city slept, dnn () feverishly typed...

    > Dear list
    >
    > Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr or
    > acronym tag?


    Well, as they are abbreviations, I would say "yes". Remember to use the
    title attribute for your first instance as in <p>This is $45<abbr
    title="United States Dollars">USD</abbr> and this is $55<abbr>USD</abbr></p>

    Cheers,
    Nige

    --
    Nigel Moss http://www.nigenet.org.uk
    Mail address will bounce. | Take the DOG. out!
    "Your mother ate my dog!", "Not all of him!"
     
    nice.guy.nige, Apr 19, 2006
    #3
  4. dnn

    Andy Dingley Guest

    dnn wrote:

    > Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr or
    > acronym tag?


    <abbr>

    But don't expect it to achieve anything except maybe a hook to hang
    some CSS on

    If it's an intranet app and you _must_ work on IE, then use <acronym>,
    because <abbr> simply doesn't.

    The pair of elements are poorly thought out, so they're confused and
    overlapping. They also fail to cover something more useful that's
    harder to describe, the idea of "Atomic concept from some unimportant
    origin that's recognisable, usable, but unpronouncable". <abbr> comes
    closest though.

    If you use it, use title attributes and I'd suggest
    class="currency-code" or class="ISO4217" too. Personally I also tend
    to repeat the code itself into the class, e.g. class="ISO4217 XAU" If
    I'm using these at all I'm doing it automatically (XSLT) and it's quite
    commonplace that I find myself wanting to start colour highlighting
    particular currencies on a page.
     
    Andy Dingley, Apr 19, 2006
    #4
  5. dnn

    Jake Guest

    In message <>, dnn
    <> writes
    >Dear list
    >
    >Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr or
    >acronym tag?
    >
    >I am interested in your best practice on this matter.
    >
    >Thx.
    >Nico
    >


    Strictly speaking, they're abbreviations -- so the mark-up would be
    <abbr></abbr>.

    However, I'd be inclined not to mark them up but make the meaning clear
    the first time they're used on the page.

    E.g.

    ".... and the cost is USD 25 (US Dollars) each when ......"

    " ...... sending at least GBP 200 (British Pounds) when the ..."

    Note:

    (a) Don't use <acronym></acronym> as it's the wrong mark-up.
    (b) Don't use <abbr></abbr> without a title as at least one
    screen-reader will speak ....... nothing ;-)

    regards.



    --
    Jake ( -- just a 'spam trap' mail address)
     
    Jake, Apr 19, 2006
    #5
  6. On Wed, 19 Apr 2006, Andy Dingley wrote:

    > If it's an intranet app and you _must_ work on IE, then use <acronym>,
    > because <abbr> simply doesn't.


    Objection! Don't mark it up with the *wrong* markup just to pacify a
    piece of non-conforming software. If an abbreviation *must* work on
    IE, you could perfectly well wrap the correct markup (abbr, which you
    provide for www-compatible software) in

    <span class="abbr" title="whatever">...</span>

    for IE, which will persuade IE to work as intended and without having
    to tell lies.

    It's a bit verbose, but at least it's accurate.

    You'd better also take into consideration Jukka's objections to
    marking currency codes as abbreviations, though.

    > The pair of elements are poorly thought out, so they're confused and
    > overlapping.


    Indeed, and made worse by mutually contradictory definitions in the
    HTML4 specifications.

    > If you use it, use title attributes and I'd suggest
    > class="currency-code" or class="ISO4217" too.


    Fair comment.

    Btw, I'm told that IE7 will finally support <abbr>. Not that I really
    care what IE7 supports, since it's still going to be in deliberate
    violation of various interworking specifications, and thereby rules
    *itself* out as a web compatible browser.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Apr 19, 2006
    #6
  7. While the city slept, Jukka K. Korpela () feverishly
    typed...

    > dnn wrote:
    >
    >> Are currency codes such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc. to be put in an abbr
    >> or acronym tag?

    >

    [...]
    > Technically, currency codes are neither acronyms nor abbreviations,
    > though they have originally been formed as abbreviations. But this is
    > irrelevant here.


    From the Merriam-Webster definition for "Abbreviation": "a shortened form of
    a written word or phrase used in place of the whole "
    (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abbreviation), so how would you
    class "USD" (a shorterned form of the phrase "United States Dollars") as not
    an abbreviation???

    > If you use the codes, explain them in normal page content, preferably
    > _before_ use. Better still, don't use them but use names or, in some
    > cases, symbols like $, €, and £, if all readers can be expected to
    > recognize them

    [...]

    This will work as long as the GBP symbol doesn't appear as a #, as it so
    often does in places other than here (the UK).

    I do agree though that it may be preferable to simply make a note along the
    lines of "All prices quoted are in UK Pounds Sterling" (or whatever) -
    especially if there are going to be many prices on one page, as then the
    scattering of "USD"s or "GBP"s all over the page would not look good (and
    I'm sure wouldn't sound good either!)

    Cheers,
    Nige

    --
    Nigel Moss http://www.nigenet.org.uk
    Mail address will bounce. | Take the DOG. out!
    "Your mother ate my dog!", "Not all of him!"
     
    nice.guy.nige, Apr 19, 2006
    #7
  8. nice.guy.nige wrote:

    > From the Merriam-Webster definition for "Abbreviation": "a shortened form of
    > a written word or phrase used in place of the whole "
    > (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abbreviation), so how would you
    > class "USD" (a shorterned form of the phrase "United States Dollars") as not
    > an abbreviation???


    A code. That's how it has been defined and named. It is by definition
    language-independent. It is used, in certain specific situations, in
    place of the name of the currency, such as "Yhdysvaltain dollari". Its
    origin is of etymological interest only.

    > This will work as long as the GBP symbol doesn't appear as a #, as it so
    > often does in places other than here (the UK).


    I don't think that's common these days; the confusion between # and £
    seems to be UK-specific. In any case, in HTML authoring, you can avoid
    any such confusion by using the entity reference &pound;.
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Apr 19, 2006
    #8
  9. On Wed, 19 Apr 2006, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > I don't think that's common these days; the confusion between # and
    > £ seems to be UK-specific.


    The confusion between "pound" (meaning "#") and pound sterling is a
    peculiarly USA-specific confusion - not recognised in the UK except by
    those also familiar with USA-specific usage.

    It just so happened that the UK national version of ISO-646 (BS4730,
    see e.g *), had the pound sterling character in the same place that
    us-ascii has its hash or number-sign character "#", which, as I say,
    the USAns tend to call "pound". So that made it a kind of
    double-bluff.

    *) http://kanji.zinbun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~yasuoka/CJK/ISO646/bs4730.gif

    anyone for an octothorpe? :-}
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Apr 19, 2006
    #9
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