Re: What an international mess!!! (was Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

=?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= (mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 10:05:09 +0200 (MET DST)


Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 10:05:09 +0200 (MET DST)
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Martin_J=2E_D=FCrst?= <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>
To: Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <199709250611.CAA01129@unix.asb.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970925095724.361I-100000@enoshima>
Subject: Re: What an international mess!!! (was Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

On Wed, 24 Sep 1997, Rob wrote:

> Perhaps one should use the BDO element to signal a change in language, 
> even though the direction may remain the same. The agent will 
> automatically apply default rules of style for that language if nothing 
> is given in a style sheet, so that an English text with non-English 
> words (but in a Roman script) would render them in Italic, but a 
> Japanese text with English words would apply different rules.

Please not BDO! What you want, namely just say that it's in another
language, should be done by SPAN. With an attribute LANG="la" and
an attribute-based selector as is worked on for CSS, you can then
say: Put everything in Latin in Italics.

BDO is BiDirectional overwrite. I very strongly urge everybody
who doesn't really understand Bidirectionality to abstain from
using it. Please never use it just because you didn't find
anything else!

> Or if no elements are added, a 'recommended usage guide' in the draft on 
> how to deal with some of the above cases.... otherwise most authors will 
> ignore the standard and continue to use the I element, deprecated or 
> not...

I still hold that in the limited context of HTML, EM is a good way
to mark up all kinds of emphasis and related stuff. Putting taxons,
foreign words, and so on in Italics is because the writer wants
(or by convention has to) tell the reader: Watch out, this is something
special. In quite some cases, foreign words and terms are Italicised
only the first time they appear. The difference to other kinds of
emphasis is really not that big.


Regards,	Martin.