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  • If you use a foreign-language term (e.g., when you want to say “for example,” you’re technically supposed to write e.g. in italics because it’s Latin – exempli gratia), what should your markup be?

    Should you use:

    <i lang="latin">e.g.</i>

    … or …

    <span style="font-style: italic" lang="latin">e.g.</span>

    … or something else?

    Even here, typing this into the textbox, the only tag that is available to me is <em>, but that’s semantically misleading – it’s not emphasis… I’m not sure what it is, though…

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  • I think you should use the tag “Acronym” using the “lang” and “xml:lang” attributes in this case:

    <acronym title="exempli gratia" lang="li" xml:lang="li" >e.g.</acronym>

    PS: “li” = Latin

    Thanks for the tip on the proper lang attribute for Latin. I confess I didn’t look that up…

    But what about the case where I have a word that’s not an acronym? Really, now that I think about it, it goes beyond just foreign language words…

    How should one semantically mark up things like:

    “Capt. James T. Kirk of the Enterprise resorted to ad hominem attacks against his enemies.”

    “Enterprise” is the name of a vessel.
    “Ad hominem” is Latin.

    Wikipedia has some remarks worth noting…

    Personally, I always use <i> for non-English phrases, because as you say <em> is unsemantic. Italicising foreign words is just a typographical convention, so gets a purely presentational tag. For titles I use <cite>, which may not be a perfect solution but is the best I have been able to find.

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