A bit late to the party. Been trying to send this for the last day...

If you aren't using the <abbr> element to surround the part of the word that is visible in the document, then surrounding with <expan> is very useful for demarcating the extent of the abbreviated word. It also serves as a container for the <am> (abbreviation marker) element. 

It's possible to use a script as James has already described to put in the full encoding for the expan/abbr/ex cluster if words are unambiguous, or to fill out the tags and supplement ambiguities by hand.

It's easier for encoders to only use the <ex>, and perhaps should be part of encoding practice, but that shouldn't necessarily determine the resulting encoding. 


[Elli Mylonas
 Senior Digital Humanities Librarian
 Center for Digital Scholarship
 University Library
 Brown University

On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:44 AM, Sebastiaan Verweij <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear all

A brief question: I’m considering not using the <expan> tags while transcribing a large body of seventeenth century mss. I note that the TEI P5 guidelines give a range of examples for <ex>, which we will use, and it seems optional to surround the entire expanded word with the <expan> tags (to mark its boundaries in some way). E.g., 


Our rationale is mainly around time saving, so I was wondering if you have a view on this in terms of TEI practice. Is there a good reason to retain <expan> if this will not add any functionality to our project? Have you omitted these tags in the past and wished you hadn’t? Thanks so much.  


Dr Sebastiaan Verweij
Lecturer in Late-Medieval and Early Modern English Literature
University of Bristol 
(+44) (0) 117 92 88090