[whatwg] whatwg Digest, Vol 33, Issue 90

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Dec 12 00:59:43 PST 2007

On Fri, 29 Dec 2006, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> > They are defined as being different. The former represents emphasis 
> > and the latter importance.
> That's a hopeless distinction (nor IMHO do the longer descriptions in 
> the draft adequately explain when to use one and when to use the other: 
> the use-cases look interchangeable to me).
> OED Online (subscription-only) defines "emphasis" as: "Stress of voice 
> laid on a word or phrase to indicate that it implies something more 
> than, or different from, what it normally expresses, or simply to mark 
> its importance." Mirriam-Webster defines "emphasis" as: "force or 
> intensity of expression that gives impressiveness or importance to 
> something":
> http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/emphasis
> Thus "stress emphasis" is merely a presentational effect to give 
> importance to something.

I don't really agree that it's that hopeless. Could you give some examples 
where you aren't sure which element would be appropriate?

> It's bizarre that the same draft fighting so hard for an unworkable 
> distinction between <em/> and <strong/> also abolishes a potentially 
> useful distinction between acronyms (pronounced as a single word) and 
> other abbreviations.

Most people don't mark up abbreviations or acronyms at all, they only mark 
them up at all to give the expansions generally. And for this purpose, it 
doesn't really matter which is which (not to mention that different 
people disagree on which is which -- I say "ess quere ell" and "ewe are 
ell", others say "sequel" and "earl").

BTW I couldn't see anything I could really fix in the spec to address your 
comments in:


Let me know if you have any specific requests relating to that e-mail.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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