Glossary of English Terms

The W3C has glossaries for technical terms related to its various  
Groups and technologies.

I have not been able to find a glossary of English words used  
commonly to discuss aspects of HTML.

Those involved for years know what they mean when referring to  
structure or presentation or whatever. There are a lot of people now  
involved in the HTML WG that are new to a lot of how things are  
thought and done. A common understanding of basic terms may pre-empt  
lengthy discussions.

I'd like some feedback on what follows. I am considering creating a  
wiki page - any idea of a good WikiName?

Doug Jones


A glossary of this nature may be superfluous for those who have been  
working with the HTML Specification for years. The HTML WG is  
attracting an audience with members who are not necessarily in the  
mind-set of the core members.

Purpose: To provide definitions of terms of the English language used  
within W3C Specifications and their discussions. To provide an  
explanation of the definition.

How: To display definitions and sources here. To provide links to  
existing glossaries, such as those of the W3C.

Order: Terms are arranged by relationship to one another, not  

semantics: the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. 

structure: the arrangement of and relations between the parts or  
elements of something complex.[1]

A document of prose may have chapters, sections within chapters, and  
paragraphs. Certain words, phrases, and titles of other works may be  
marked by the author to be emphasized, emboldened, or italicized.  
Chapters are an obvious part of structure. An emphasized word may not  
appear to be structure, but presentation. However, when an author  
specifies an emphasis, they expect that emphasis to remain regardless  
of presentational change. In other words, whether a document is  
displayed in Times New Roman or Arial does not change the need to  
emphasize the word the author desired.

presentation: the manner or style in which something is given,  
offered, or displayed.[1]

emphasis: special importance, value, or prominence given to something. 

The placement of emphasis changes the meaning of a sentence and thus  
forms an integral part of the content. By emphasizing an entire  
sentence, it becomes clear that the speaker is fighting hard to get  
the point across.[2] A writer usually indicates emphasis with  
italicized text, although bold type, a different color, etc. could be  

bold: a typeface with thicker strokes than that of surrounding text.

An author may use bold type to draw attention to something. This  
could be a warning or a highlight of a word or value. The words  
defined in this glossary are in bold so the reader may find them  
easily among the rest of the text. A currency total may be in bold on  
an invoice so the purchaser may easily recognize how much they are  
paying. This is not the same as placing emphasis on something,  
although a writer may chose to embolden what they emphasize.

italic: a typeface that is a sloping kind of typeface compared to  
surrounding text.

Certain writing styles (MLA, APA) require some titles to books,  
films, and other works to be in italics. Words foreign to the  
language being used may be italicized. This is not the same as  
placing emphasis on something. The author or a writing style may  
require the use of italics.

underline: a line drawn under a word or phrase, esp. for emphasis.[1]

By definition, underlining may be used for emphasis. Some writing  
styles (APA) allow the underline to be used to identify book titles.

abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase.[1]

Examples include Dr. (doctor), abbr. (abbreviation), WWW (World Wide  
Web) and UK (United Kingdom).

acronym: a word formed from the initial letters of other words. [1]

Examples include radar (radio detection and ranging) and laser (light  
amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).

[1] New Oxford American Dictionary (Dictionary app from Apple,  
described in Wikipedia here: 
[2] paraphrased from Web Applications 1.0 Working Draft  23 March 2007

W3C Glossary -

Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 20:54:09 UTC