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Re: Chinese language and emphasis

From: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@vicnet.net.au>
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:35:07 +1100
Message-ID: <47A23F0B.7030609@vicnet.net.au>
To: www-international@w3.org

I suspect that my concerns about the <i> element is that to my mind it 
is presentational. I know that some people argue that it can have 
semantic meaning. But it only has semantic meaning if you assume that 
all languages and scripts on the web have to follow the typesetting and 
typographic traditions of Europe.

Note that the conventions for italicization only allied to print 
publications, handwritten material and material prepared on a typewriter 
often used alternative conventions.

In the early days of the web, and even now, you'll find articles and 
posts discussing how to bring good typographic practice to the web. 
Generally this centres on the needs and concerns of English or a few 
other European languages.

Just look a the core non-Latin fonts on a standard operating system. 
Some scripts will only have one weight and style. Some fonts may be 
available in two weights.

It is rare for a non Latin, Cyrillic or Greek typeface to have an italic 
or oblique version.

Not even sure if I've ever seen an italic or oblique CJK font. I know I 
don't have any installed on my system, despite the number of fonts 
installed over the years.

Even CSS3 is merely a step in the right direction. With a range of 
Latin/Cyrillic typographic conventions well embedded in CSS.

The styling of web sites should be responsive to language and the 
typographic traditions of each language.


KUROSAKA Teruhiko wrote:
>> I'm wondering if anyone could answer a couple of questions for me. As 
>> I understand it Japanese doesn’t use italics as a form of emphasis, so 
>> using |<i>| tags around ideographic text is a big no no. Can anyone 
> Not necessarily.  Use of italic in Japanese text is rare but not wrong.
> By the way, the <i> tag will no longer mean italic when the now draft HTML5
> becomes the standard. Here's a quote from:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/#the-i
> ---------------------------------------------------
> The i element should be used as a last resort when no other element is more
> appropriate. In particular, citations should use the cite element, 
> defining instances
> of terms should use the dfn  element, stress emphasis should use the em  
> element,
> importance should be denoted with the strong element, quotes should be 
> marked
> up with the q element, and small print should use the small element.
> Style sheets can be used to format i elements, just like any other 
> element can be
> restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in i elements will 
> necessarily
> be italicised.
> ---------------------------------------------------

Andrew Cunningham
Research and Development Coordinator (Vicnet)
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Email: andrewc+AEA-vicnet.net.au
Alt. email: lang.support+AEA-gmail.com

Ph: +613-8664-7430                    Fax:+613-9639-2175
Mob: 0421-450-816

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/            http://www.vicnet.net.au/
http://www.openroad.net.au/           http://www.mylanguage.gov.au/
Received on Thursday, 31 January 2008 21:37:42 UTC

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