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Re: Physical markup concept snag

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 22:18:12 +0100
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <r5re8ssui9ie3nmmlogvh4eu2vk29ltqos@4ax.com>
On Thu, 20 Jan 2000 15:01:32 -0500 (EST), "Russell Steven Shawn
O'Connor" <roconnor@uwaterloo.ca> wrote:

>On Thu, 20 Jan 2000, Jan Roland Eriksson wrote:
>> If you are referring to a visual presentation of 'italic' within
>> 'italic' your statement is not correct according to what I have learned
>> from traditional typesetting practices.
>> 'italic' (or cursive really) within 'italic' reverts to the normal font
>> presentation as per recommendations from the "old timers lead poisoned
>> brain" :)

>Are you sure about this?

Most definitely Sir. I have been in the "lead business" my self at one
time, and I had good mentors.

>Or are the ``old timers lead poisoned brain'' really trying to say
>if emphisis is nested in ephisis then to revert to the normal font.

(sorry Sir, but is there a typo up there? I'm Swedish and not exactly
 sure if those words you are using indicates a different meaning from
 what I think of as "emphasized" [my Oxford Illustrated was of no help
 either:) ] )

Assuming "emphasized" for now;

The background that can be found in printing history is rather simple.

Aldus Manutius once designed the very first 'cursive' type (in later
times given a generic name of 'italic') but no work from him that I have
been able to look at indicates that he had any ideas for some rules on
how to mix his 'cursive' with the type families that was available
before his creation.

Italics of that time was used only to produce "compact" books.

From my own limited experience in the field, I know that the use of
alternate italic and normal font presentation is to some degree
discussed in...

  "Manuale Tipografico" by Giambattista Bodoni

...and I'm pretty sure that this is the book from where the tradition
begins, and later to come into practice more or less for good in
traditional printing.

>I suspect this is the case (I'm no expert), and that the difference
>between style and semantics was blurred in the old days, so hence
>the poor phrasing of the rule.

I can't know, just based on what I know from the world of printing on
paper. It's all visual to start with and the discussions on structure
and layout lies elsewhere, as in the brains of graphical designers.

The differences between style, semantics and presentation is still very
much blurred I would say :)

>I honestly expect everything inside and <i> elment to be in italics
>regardless of the context.  Why would I have said ``put this in italics''
>if that's not why I wanted?

Well tradition has it that as a visual experience one wants to make
something 'italic' stand out from inside 'italic' right?

Reverting to normal font is one basic way of doing just that, but it's
by no means any laws behind it.

The Norwegian typographical NG had a few long threads on it about a year
back, but as I recall they did not come to a consensus on it either.

The topic has been up for discussion in CSS related NG's too, same
result as I recall :)

Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Received on Thursday, 20 January 2000 16:13:31 UTC

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