Uses of <I>

Keith Calvert Ivey (
Fri, 2 Aug 1996 21:43:46 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: "Keith Calvert Ivey" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 1996 21:43:46 -0500
Subject: Uses of <I>
CC: "Christopher R. Maden" <>

"Christopher R. Maden" <> wrote about <I>:

> I *never* use it otherwise. There's always a reason I think
> it should be italicized.  Title?  Use <cite>.  Foreign word? 
> Use <em>. Variable?  Use <var>.  Ditto boldface or
> underlining. 

I agree that there's always a reason that something's 
italicized, but the reason can't always be described in the 
current state of HTML.  That and automated conversion are the 
reasons I use <I>.  I don't understand why marking a 
foreign word with <EM> when you're not emphasizing it is any 
better than marking it with <I>.

I'm not even sure about <CITE>; it seems a strange name to use
for something indicating a title (but then <TITLE> was already
taken).  Wilbur says it's for "citations or references to
other sources", which doesn't mean titles to mean.

As soon as there's a widely supported way in HTML to indicate
all the things that italics indicate in print (words used as
words, foreign words, mathematical (but not programming)
variables that aren't vectors or Greek letters, emphasized
words, species names, titles, etc.), I'll stop using <I>.
Not before.

Keith C. Ivey <>
Washington, DC
Untangling the Web <>