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RE: <strong>/<em> instead of <b>/<i>

From: Jon Hanna <jon@spinsol.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 11:32:41 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NDBBLCBLIMDOPKMOPHLHIEFNDMAA.jon@spinsol.com>
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> 1. I know that the strong and em give differing emphasis to the
> contents their applied to, but it is incorrect to nest them? 
> 
> Eg. <em>Bill & Ted's <strong>Bogus</strong> Journey</em> is a 
> movie about...
> 
> Does the nesting create an even stronger emphasis than just the
> strong?  If it was nested the other way, em within strong, would
> that make no difference?

It isn't clear, however I would say that both <em> and <strong>
emphasise within their parent tags.
For obvious intuitive reasons <em>abc<strong>d</strong>efg</em> can
more clearly be seen to emphasise "d" over the rest of the <em>
content, and that is the only form I would explicitly use, however if
copying (whether copy-and-paste on the source code or a dynamic
insertion on either the client or the server) resulted in
<strong>abc<em>d<em>efg</strong> I wouldn't worry about it.

> Also, 
> 
> 2. Should I use strong or em for titles, like in a bibliography? 
> Or, if the
> title quite long - eg. 'Conviction with compassion: a report on
> freedom of religion and belief' - would that be too much to wrap in
> an 
> emphasising tag?
> Should I just use <i>?

A title is not the same thing as emphasis. For one thing it is a
convention of English printed text that titles be in italics, however
there it is common to use bold for <em> (css of em{weight: bold;
font-style: normal;}) and it is common in speech to read a title with
little or no stress, whereas <em> should always be stressed in
speech. Other conventions include using italics for emphasis, but
also using italics of block quotes and normal text for emphasis
within block quotes.

Further to this other languages have different conventions concerning
emphasis, document titles and other cases where italic is commonly
used (e.g. words foreign to the sentence they are used in), faking
styles for document titles by use of <em> or <i> may make translation
difficult.

<i> is deprecated and meaningless. In the absence of an HTML element
signifying a document title it is probably best to use:

<span class="docTitle">Conviction with compassion...</span>

and in your css define:

.docTitle{
	font-style: italic;
}

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Received on Friday, 25 January 2002 06:32:12 GMT

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