Re: Render EM as underline [was: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar] (fwd)

Terje Norderhaug (
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 08:17:02 -0700

Message-Id: <ae26722601021004d0e7@[]>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 08:17:02 -0700
To: MegaZone <>,
From: (Terje Norderhaug)
Subject: Re: Render EM as underline [was: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar] (fwd)

At 6:26 PM 7/30/96, MegaZone wrote:
>Once upon a time Terje Norderhaug shaped the electrons to say...
>>I suggest to resolve the issue by that the guidelines for how a browser
>>should render the EM element is changed from advising italics to advising
>>that the EM is rendered with underline.
>Never happen.  People expect EM to be italics in all major browsers, I
>know I would not be alone it screaming my objections if that were even
>considered.  Besides, people would just start using <I> if that change

I assume you refer to HTML authors when you say "people". Those that would
be using <EM> with requirements about how it will be rendered is probably
using <I> anyway. A main feature of an element for describing what is
emphasized is that you can change the rendering as appropriate.

>>Italics fonts doesn't display very well on screen anyway, and makes text
>>harder to read (if readbable at all). Rendering EM with italics also mixes
>Looks lovely on my system, so speak for yourself.

I just did. I also spoke for others that have similar quality display or
worse, which probably is the majority of people browsing the web.

>>with the common rendering of citations. By not providing U but rather
>>suggest underline for EM, it would invite more people to use the logical EM
>>element with the associated long term advantages.
>For legal documents you *MUST* have underlining, no ambiguity.  They need
>a *physical* markup, NOT a *logical* markup that may change on the whim of
>a browser manufactuer.

Incidentially, I am writing this from a law office (in the US), so I asked
one of the attorneys what the big deal was about underlining. The answer
was that it wasn't much of a requirement. Checking out some of the legal
documents here showed underlining used for emphasis as well as for case
references. Why wouldn't logical markup with the appropriate stylesheet to
ensure underlining when necessarry be good enough for the legal profession?

-- Terje <>

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