RFC: initialisms and FDP
blackend at freebsd.org
Tue Jul 13 07:40:47 UTC 2004
I think it's the right moment to talk about initialism: abbreviations
I'd like to add something to the FDP related to that "problem".
In fact I see 2 issues:
First, it seems people do not make a difference between an abbreviation
and an acronym (I'm focusing on english usage, but it's same in many
language like french for example).
explains the difference.
To sum up the main difference, an acronym is an initialism where the
sequence of initials taken from the source is pronounced as a
phonological word, and an abbreviation is an initialism where eash
letter is pronounced individually.
Well some of us will think: "Marc you are too muck picky", maybe but
DocBook offers both <abbrev> and <acronym> tags. These tags exist to
mainly respect the definition above.
Since we hardly make the difference between these initialisms, we used
<acronym> tags (which is not correct according to linguistic
So to avoid the fact that, one day, someone starts to mix <abbrev> and
<acronym> tags in our doc, I propose to define in our FDP <acronym> as
a generic tag for initialisms.
My second remark is about when or how many times we should use acronym
tags for the same initialism?
This remark is important cause if we start to use <acronym> tags, which
is the case since a while, what should prevent someone to "spam" our
SGML files with these tags? Some will think everything: SMTP, NTP etc.
should be tagged, so we will end up with "bloat". Since this tag is not
rendered, for the moment, I don't see why in one section we should tag
many times the same initialism (but that's just my opinion).
>From my point of view, the main interest about initialism tagging is
having links to the glossary to define the initialism.
Some of us recently pointed this glossary question.
So can we take a decision and add a "rule" to our FDP?
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