RFC: initialisms and FDP
ceri at FreeBSD.org
Tue Jul 13 17:06:25 UTC 2004
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 09:40:42AM +0200, Marc Fonvieille wrote:
> I think it's the right moment to talk about initialism: abbreviations
> and acronyms.
> 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.
That strikes me as a redefinition of the word "abbreviation".
With this definition, what is "Penn.", as in "Pennsylvania"?
It's certainly not an acronym, but the "new rules" tell us that it's not
an abbreviation either.
I think someone wants to think up a new word instead of overloading
"abbreviation" - I *know* that the DocBook element abbrev has the
old "Penn." type in mind over the new-fangled "USA" type.
> 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.
Fine with me - as far as I'm concerned both of the forms defined in 
above *are* acronyms. Expect me to raise holy hell if someone marks up
an abbreviation (old-style) as an acronym though.
> 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).
See murray's recent commit regrading ⋼. We *should* be marking up
every occurrence of an acronym as such, because that's what DocBook is
PS I understand that I am running somewhat hot at the moment - please
don't get offended by anything above.
It is not tinfoil, it is my new skin. I am a robot.
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