[whatwg] sic element

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Jul 29 10:05:12 PDT 2011

On Tue, 3 May 2011, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> But I'm afraid we cannot completely put aside the issue. The reason is 
> that recently the <u> element was promoted from obsolete physical markup 
> to conforming semantic markup, though with semantics that really 
> confuses me: "The u element represents a span of text with an 
> unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation, such 
> as labeling the text as being a proper name in Chinese text (a Chinese 
> proper name mark), or labeling the text as being misspelt."
> So the question "which markup should I use to indicate a word as 
> intentionally misspelt?" is currently "the <u> element".

You may use the <u> element to mark up an element that is misspelt. I 
wouldn't say "should", and the intention is orthogonal to the element's 
definition. In fact, given the element's definition, you equally use it to 
mark up words that are intentionally spelt _correctly_. The point is just 
that <u> is used to explicitly annotate some text without saying why in a 
textual manner. This makes it quite distinct from [sic], which is an 
explicitly articulated annotation.

> This sounds somewhat unnatural, though, since in the absence of 
> stylesheet rules for <u>, and when styles are disabled, <u> is rendered 
> as underlined in visual presentation. This tends to draw attention more 
> than is desirable in most situations.

I would not expect authors to use <u> where [sic] is appropriate.

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

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