[whatwg] The m element

Alexey Feldgendler alexey at feldgendler.ru
Tue Feb 6 11:55:37 PST 2007

On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 09:13:27 +0100, Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen at peda.net> 

> Perhaps <m> should be considered as a special case of <em>. I would have
> to agree that semantic value of <m> over <em> is next to meaningless. I
> think that one usable definition between <m> and <em> would be that <m>
> is meant for highlighting content for a single user and <em> is meant
> for emphasizing stuff in general. That would limit usage of <m> to
> dynamically generated content only, though, and reserving such a short
> tag for that purpose only doesn't seem reasonable.

IMO, the key difference between <m> and <em> is that <m> is intended to be 
placed by somebody or something other than the author of the original text. 
Highlighting search hits is one of the examples (the hits are marked by the 
search engine, not by the author of the text). Another example can be quoting 
someone and using <m> to mark the words of particular importance — not in the 
cited author's opinion, but rather in the context where the quote appears.


<p>Another example is this sentence: <q>Hard <m>labour</m> has turned monkeys 
into human beings.</q> Note the use of British spelling.</p>

Using <em> in this example wouldn't be appropriate because it would imply that “labour” 
is the most important word in the sentence.

Alexey Feldgendler <alexeyf at opera.com>
[ICQ: 115226275] http://feldgendler.livejournal.com

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