[whatwg] The m element

Charles McCathieNevile chaals at opera.com
Wed Feb 7 22:46:09 PST 2007

On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 11:01:52 +0530, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>wrote:

> Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>> In what way, apart from denoting that something is particularly relevant 
>> a phrase in a given context, does emphasis change the meaning of something?
> The spec gives a good example showing how it changes the meaning.
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the-em

Sorry, but while those are nice examples, I still don't understand how I could 
generalise from them in a way that would make sense to me, sufficient that I 
could translate the concept. The closest I can get is that one is meant for 
conveying something to do with expression in a human language, while the other 
is meant for anything that people wouldn't say. (Maybe I express this better 
below - I am not sure).

Which strikes me as an artificial dichotomy.

If I want to note a word in something someone else said ('"does emphasis *change* 
the meaning", emphasis mine' is what you find in current usage) which tag do I 

>> Strong provides a strong emphasis, no?
> Strong denotes importance (see the spec). This is a change from HTML4,
> but HTML4 didn't really define the difference between emphasis and
> strong emphasis anyway.

One is stronger than the other. Given that HTML5 allows nesting of emphasis, 
there is not much point in having the strong element as well, is there? If em 
refers to the importance of some text in the context of the internal semantics 
of the text (where m refers to its importance in a context not generally derived 
from its internal semantics), then doesn't nesting it convey weighted importance?

It seems to me we could do away with both m and strong here and not lose 
anything (except that strong appears occasionally in the wild).



Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
hablo español - je parle français - jeg lærer norsk
chaals at opera.com Try Opera 9.1 http://opera.com

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