acronym elements are discussed in the same section, but I’ve never liked doing things the same old way. So, let’s start with
abbr, and we’ll discuss
abbr is the abbreviation element. This inline item allow you to spell out the meanings of abbreviations.
But why? Everyone knows what I mean when I say req’d. It means required. No, it means requested. No…I’m absolutely, positively certain it means requisitioned. Or maybe not.
You could argue that the meaning of the abbreviation will be made clear from context. And your tax return forms are a breeze to complete, right? For example, in the following sentence, my meaning is perfectly clear:
What was req’d?
Silly example, and I’m sure nobody writes that way, right? But can you be so sure that your meaning is perfectly clear to every person reading your website (and every person listening to your website)?
Why not make it easy on everyone and expand your abbreviation. The markup is ridiculously simple (even more so if you have an HTML editor that reduces most of the work to a mouseclick or two. To expand an abbreviation, simply do the following:
Yes, I know. Too simple. So simple you don’t know why you haven’t always done it (probably that’s because it hasn’t always been an option). Now when your abbreviation is encountered, screen readers will spell out what you mean and a tooltip will appear when other users mouse over the item. Yes, I’m perfectly aware that this wonderful feature isn’t fully supported by browsers everywhere (but, frankly, isn’t it time we forced Microsoft and others to comply with the standards?), but
abbr is a wonderful invention. Use it!