Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

Rob (wlkngowl@unix.asb.com)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 20:24:44 -0500


Message-Id: <199709230037.UAA29661@unix.asb.com>
From: "Rob" <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
To: "Martin J. D^nrst" <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 20:24:44 -0500
CC: www-html@w3.org, Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
In-reply-to: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970922112206.361e-100000@enoshima>
Subject: Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

On 22 Sep 97, Martin J. D=FCrst <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch> wrote:
> [..]
> > <EM lang=3D"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 tradition=
ally
> > 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.
> [..]

I disagree completely. The purpose of using italics for 'foreign' words 
or phrases is for visual emphasis to tell the reader something is special 
about that word, though not necessarily logical emphasis. Hence EM is 
inappropriate if there is nothing *important* about the foreign word.

Italics provide a visual cue that something is special about the word 
without saying what that special attribute is. (It's assumed the human 
reader will figure out the difference between emphasis, flagging of 
non-standard/special/foreign words, and citations.)

Using EM is deceptive and will throw off a speech renderer that might 
speak the world with added volume. SPAN is more appropriate.

There's nothing wrong with using I (for italics), since non-CSS browsers
will still be used for quite some time. Deprecation is not the same as 
elimination.

Rob