Re: Uses of <I>

Christopher R. Maden (
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 21:44:52 GMT

From: "Christopher R. Maden" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 21:44:52 GMT
Message-Id: <199608052144.VAA02156@phaser.EBT.COM>
In-reply-to: <> (
Subject: Re: Uses of <I>

Keith Ivey:
> 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>.

Marking a word as foreign is one form of emphasis.  I've seen a number
of SGML DTDs that use <emph type="foreign">.  <em>E.g.</em>,
pretentious people may use the term <em>objets</em> all willy-nilly.

> 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.

I'm basically working around a limitation of the DTD.  The title of
the work should be noted as such, and <cite> is the closest element.
This is overloading the element, but until real SGML comes to the Web
and I can define my own elements, I have to make do.  That's why HTML
as such is doomed; we can't possibly design a single document type
that's usable for everybody without serious overloading.

> 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.

That's reasonable.  Now if only you had the tools to *define* all the
elements you needed...

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