acronym vs. abbr

January 03, 2004 11AM PST

Pedantry aside, I’m going to be kicking myself in a few years when I have to strip all the incorrect <acronym> tags that litter my code today.

(To the curious: debates rage over the finer differences between <acronym> and <abbr>. Technically, you should be using <abbr> in most cases, except that MSIE doesn’t support it, which means your work is going to waste. Then there’s the accessibility side of things, which says that your good intentions in at least providing something to IE users is actually causing harm on the screenreader end of things. And there’s the code issue which says you’re using the wrong element to get the job done, which is a hack and will result in the scenario I began with. And finally there’s the main accessibility bugbear which suggests the common screenreaders don’t support either yet anyway. And all this over two seemingly redundant tags. Oy.)