Users typically see about 2 words for most list items; they'll see a little more if the lead words are short, and only the first word if they're long. Of course, people don't see exactly 11 characters every time, but we picked this number to ensure uniformity across the sites we tested. #Users don't need to predict a link's destination with 100% accuracy based solely on its 11 leading characters. In real life, links aren't truncated on the page. Even if users see only the first 2 words or so during their initial scan, they can immediately read more if their eyes stop on the link.
Thus, only the full link text needs to provide the full information scent:
* Allow users to confidently predict what they'll get if they click.
* Be clearly differentiated from the other links.
* Not be misleading or promise too much.