On 15 September 2017 at 11:49, brenton strine <wha...@gmail.com> wrote: > My understanding of the semantics of <strong> and <em> vs. <b> and <i> is > that the former indicate a stress, emphasis, offset or importance that > would be expressed verbally, if reading aloud. > > On the other hand, the <b> and <i> tags indicate stress, emphasis, offset > or importance that is visual or typographic. > > I frequently see people arguing that <strong> is the most semantic element > to use for a term or keyword because it is the most "important," but in a > situation where you would never change the way you read the sentence > verbally, but rather, just want the typographic indication that it's a > term. To me, I think this is coming from some ambiguity in the word > "important" that causes people to fundamentally misunderstand when to use > <strong> vs <b>. > > Is my understanding (i.e., thinking in terms of visual vs. verbal offset as > a way of clarifying the meaning of the definitions) right here, and if so, > is there some sort of less ambiguous, authoritative document that I can > point people to when these discussions come up? Semantics conversations > always seem to come back to a fundamental disagreement about the meaning of > the words used in the W3C specification.
The issue has possibly passed its expiration date by now, but no, I do not think that e.g. the definition of the strong element (as set out at https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/text-level-semantics.html#the-strong-element ) is consistent with your understanding. I don't know exactly what the W3C has to say on the matter at the moment, but most would caution against relying on their somewhat idiosyncratic perspective.