The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 January 2007

Imagine the markup

This shirt prompted this commentary from Eugene Volokh:

</hate>

I spotted a T-shirt at school bearing this inscription, but I don't think it quite means what some people assume it means.

I take it that it's supposed to mean "end hate." But when you use a tag like </i>, you don't mean "end italics" in the sense "abandon italics forever." You mean "I've been using italics for a bit, I'm stopping for a while now, but I'll get back to using it later."

Substitute "hate" for "i," and you'll get my drift. I bet the guy has a <hate> T-shirt in his closet that he was wearing three days before; he's hated all the stuff between then and the </hate> shirt; and he'll be wearing the <hate> shirt next time he's got some hating to do. Plus he certainly wouldn't just wear the </hate> shirt without having worn <hate> before, and on the same page — that would be syntactically non-compliant.

Not that compliance, with syntax or with anything that smacks of "rules," is valued highly among T-shirt sloganeers.

Anyway, </i> is deprecated these days: the purveyors of Official Standards prefer </em>. So at some point they really do expect us to "abandon italics forever." And if that shirt doesn't validate, well, neither do I.

Posted at 11:14 AM to PEBKAC , Say What?


TrackBack: 5:33 PM, 31 January 2007
» End Hate (For Now) from Hit Coffee
Eugene Volokh noticed a shirt that says </hate>, which presumably means "end hate". Eugene points out that what it's really saying is "end hate for now" and will probably resume later......[read more]

You not validating is no surprise.

It's not that "i" is deprecated in favor of "em", it's that tags are supposed to be semantic and not stylistic. You're supposed to use "em" for emphasis, and not assume that italics means emphasis.

It makes sense to me, so I try it - but rather than try something like 'span style="font-style: italic"' for titles of books or movies, I use the "i" tag - largely because most commenting systems accept it when they won't accept "span" in comments.

(I'd have an easier time of it if "bold" and "italic" had the same CSS, but the former is "font-weight: bold" and the latter is "font-style: italic", and for some reason that's harder for me to remember than if they were combined in one "font-style".)

Oh, and the T-shirt commentary, well, that's just dumb. It may not validate, but ending a tag does not mean you intend to use it again soon. You get into all kinds of weirdness if you believe that, particularly if you see the </body> tag.

Posted by: Matt at 2:55 PM on 30 January 2007

In fact, I'm still using tables in some places, which is far beyond merely deprecated.

I suppose it would be useful to add <span> to the accepted tags in comments, so I will do so.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:04 PM on 30 January 2007