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Re: Cleaning House

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 00:31:49 +0100
Message-ID: <463E6565.7090707@googlemail.com>
To: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
CC: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Murray Maloney wrote:
> At 06:43 PM 5/6/2007 +0100, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
>> Murray Maloney wrote:
>>> Italics are a form of emphasis in Western publishing.
>> 
>> We need to distinguish between two notions of "emphasis": (1)
>> visual markers that distinguish one bit of text from another and
>> (2) authors stressing particular words or parts of a document.
> 
> I am missing the distinction. How does one achieve (2) w/o 
> simultaneously using (1).

You can achieve (2) without using (1) by using (for example) braille
italics or change of pitch. But my main contention is you can do (1)
without also doing (2), e.g. coloring a hyperlink blue distinguishes it
without additionally stressing it.

> The URIs that you cited all propagate the myth that <em> is somehow 
> semantic <i> is not.

Those URIs were supposed to give an indication of what much of the
movement believes; they aren't supposed to demonstrate that <em> differs 
from <i>.

> The important question is always: why are we emphasizing this phrase?

You might "emphasize" (i.e. change the formatting of) phrases in order 
to signify that they are /more important/ than the surrounding text. Or 
you might "emphasize" them in order to show where ship names and book 
titles begin and end. The issue here is that many people are 
understanding emphasis to mean showing that phrases are more important 
than the surrounding text. Even if we didn't use the word "emphasis" for 
that, we'd still have to tackle the concept.

>> This seems to be the sense in which the Oxford Style Guide (the 
>> British equivalent of the Chicago Manual of Style) uses "emphasis"
>> too. By this usage, /one/ use of italics is to signify emphasis in
>> Western publishing, but that does not make italics /only/ a form
>> of emphasis.
> 
> For the purposes of our discussion, what other aspect of italics are
> you interested in exploring? I asserted that bold and italics are
> forms of emphasis. I further asserted that <b> and <i> were the twins
> of <string> and <em>.

I'm not sure what you're asking. Explore how? I've already suggested 
some possible forms of markup for those other uses of italics yesterday:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2007May/0195.html

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Sunday, 6 May 2007 23:32:00 GMT

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