[whatwg] The m element [em and strong]

Charles McCathieNevile chaals at opera.com
Thu Feb 8 19:31:17 PST 2007

On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 18:05:12 +0530, Øistein E. Andersen <html5@øistein.com> 

> On 8 Feb 2007, at 9:42AM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>> "importance" is differen[t] from "emphasis".
> This is indeed what the current version of the specification says, but I 
> think this distinction is too artificial to work in practice.


> The Oxford English Dictionary defines one of the meanings of emphasis thus:
>> Stress of voice laid on a word or phrase to indicate that it implies 
>> more than, or different from, what it normally expresses, or simply to mark
>> its importance.
> The Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emphasis_(typography)
> is also relevant to the more general em/strong/m/b/i discussion, as it clearly
> defines any change in font style as a kind of emphasis.
> Perhaps the most logical solution would be to keep only <em> as a general
> emphasis element and allow i/b/u and possibly others to be used at the author's
> discretion, but with the same semantics as <em>.
> The semasiologists amongst you are unlikely to approve of such a flagrant lack 
> inherent meaning, but insisting on too fine-grained distinctions, influenced 
> more or less arbitrary conventions in modern Western typography, is not 
helpful either.

As a semantics fanatic, who happens to believe that the web works best when it 
aligns with the way people behave, I think this proposal is far and away the 
most sensible thing I have seen suggested on this topic.



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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