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Re: HTML5 feedback from prominent designers

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 16:48:42 -0400
Message-ID: <7c2a12e20909041348y22e3d89cid6ae82f11ed04240@mail.gmail.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, public-html@w3.org
On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:56 PM, Leif Halvard Silli
<xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:
> But 'aside' still seems a tad 'high English' and "chiefly British", if you
> ask me. There is risk that it will often be misunderstood or not be
> understood at all - in this Web Wide World. And for those that understand
> it, if it is perceived as an exclusive/classy word, then that might also
> impact on how often authors use it as well.

The AHD gives these definitions for "aside" (as a noun):

1. A piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not
heard by the other actors on stage.
2. A remark made in an undertone so as to be inaudible to others nearby.
3. A parenthetical departure; a digression.

The first two definitions aren't directly relevant to written HTML, so
the third one appears to be the correct one.  That's the definition I
thought of when I first heard of the element, and my reaction was that
it was ridiculously narrow.  A parenthetical statement is often an
"aside"; a sidebar is definitely not, in the usual English meaning of
the term.  <aside>s are therefore disjoint from asides.

(The word definitely isn't particularly British, IMO as a native
American English speaker.  I don't think it's particularly "classy",
but my views on that might be skewed.  In any event it's certainly not
particularly common as a noun, and I wouldn't expect non-native
speakers to be sure of exactly what it meant.  But that's an aside.
;) )

I tried hunting through a thesaurus to find other names, but I
couldn't find anything promising before I gave up: <extra>, <infix>.
(Plus some fun ones that are probably too obscure, like <annex> and
<adjuvant>.  Chrome even flags the latter as a typo!  :P)  We're
looking for a word that means "not really part of the content".
<extra> is possibly better than <aside>, but it's still kind of lame.
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 20:56:43 GMT

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