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

On 23 Sep 97, Chris Maden <crism@ora.com> wrote:
> [..]
> In English typography, at least, foreign words should always be
> italicized; the only ones that aren't are loanwords that aren't really
> foreign any more.
> I believe that this is a kind of emphasis, and I would use, <em
> class="foreign" lang="la">e.g.</em>, ... that.

Actually, <acronym lang="la" title="exempli gratia" >e.g.</acronym>
(maybe add "spellout" as an attribute too?)

"i.e." and "e.g." are so common in English writing that they're hardly 
italicized as foreign words anymore (that is, it's a bad exampe).

Using italics for foreign words is dependent on the main language and the
language & character-set of the foreign term too. If it's an English text 
with words in Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, etc., then 
there's no need for italics (italic/oblique is not appropriate to many
non-western character sets).

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.

Since I (along with B and U) are being deprecated, there's a need for a 
set of elements to fill the holes between I, EM, CITE, and others... 
(taxonomic names, foreign words or phrases, filenames and URLs, 
miscellaneous titles where CITE is awkward to use-- such as in chapters, 
specific articles, videos, radio/TV programs...)

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 


Received on Thursday, 25 September 1997 02:15:09 UTC