Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

=?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= (
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 11:28:07 +0200 (MET DST)

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 11:28:07 +0200 (MET DST)
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= <>
To: Jordan Reiter <>
In-Reply-To: <l03110709b04b6eafecf9@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970922112206.361e-100000@enoshima>
Subject: Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

On Sun, 21 Sep 1997, Jordan Reiter wrote:

> What is the best way to refer to a foreign word or phrase?  Which
> element/method is best?  I want the text to be rendered differently even in
> a browser that does not use stylesheets.  I have come up with the following
> possible choices:
> <I lang="it">Lega Nord<I>
> 	This, for obvious reasons (deprecation, for one), is undesireable,
> but it does produce the correct rendering effect within graphical (and even
> non-graphical, styled-text) browsers.

Yes, clearly deprecated.

> <EM lang="it">Lega Nord</EM>
> 	This is also no good, because it implies an emphasis that I don't
> want in the document.  For the same reason, <CITE> and other traditionally
> italicized elements are no good.

I guess this is what you will have to go with. If you want foreign terms
to be something different, which should be visible, then this is a sort
of emphasis. You are saying: Hey, here comes something special.
Usually, you would use emphasis only the first time the term appears,
but not later. So the first time, it's emphasized saying "Here comes
something new". There are all kinds of emphasizing, both in degree
and in content. HTML cannot distinguish them in much detail except
for classes.

> <SPAN lang="it">Lega Nord</SPAN>
> 	This does not mis-suggest the content, but it also will not render
> correctly on most browsers, and I would have to include a class attribute
> and properties in some sort of stylesheet to get it to render in italics at
> all on stylesheet browsers.

You can use this on the second,... occurrence in the case it has no
special emphasis anymore (because it is already known).

> Does anyone know of a tag of sorts that does this automatically, or am I
> out of luck?  Should I just choose one of the less-than-ideal solutions
> here?

<EM> is definitely not wrong. You are emphasizing it in some way,
and <EM> covers a lot of different semantics for emphasis.

Regards,	Martin.