[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: format/fill of text in a cell in tables

From: Juan Manuel Macías
Subject: Re: format/fill of text in a cell in tables
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 21:25:40 +0000

tomas@tuxteam.de writes:

> This reminds me of people advocating "semantic backup" (e.g. use
> "emphasis" instead of "italics", until one realises that you just
> managed to peel off one layer of the sematic onion. The onion just got
> smaller (some literature perhaps might want to play with the ambiguity
> of italics?), and if you continue, you end up with no onion at all.

There is a lot of confusion between the terms 'emphasis' and
'italics/cursive'. The second term is strictly typographic-calligraphic.
There are entire codices that are wrote in Byzantine cursive. And you
have the Porson typeface, from the Oxford editions of Ancient Greek
texts, which is a cursive, but which is used as a normal font. In an
ancient text there is no notion for 'emphasis': how do we know when
Homer or Sappho wanted to emphasize a phrase? Typography has
historically used italics as a resource for emphasis (not in all
languages, some use the separation of letters to emphasize; there are
also writing systems where the concept of 'italics' or 'cursive' does
not make sense), but it uses the italic also for more varied purposes:
depends on the era, fashion and trends. Consider also the avant-garde
poetry of the early last century, which had a great typographical
dependency, as a sort of game. In addition, there is the maremagnum of
graphic design, which is not strictly typography (although both terms
are also confused), but use the typography for expressive purposes:
advertising, etc.

I remember that a long time ago I use to wrote in a typewriter, and
there was a common convention in typed texts, which consisted of marking
the emphases like this: _emphasis_. WYSIWYG word processors imposed a
form quite unnatural to write, by confusing format and content. And they
force authors to have typographical concerns at the most inopportune
moment, which is the creation of content (as if Hemingway used a
monotype instead of a typewriter). The proof is that hardly any of the
Word users use Word styles or apply them consistently. The normal thing,
with rare exceptions, is to degrade the documents using direct format,
which is the great plague.

I believe that a text whose main purpose is not to produce a visual
impact (advertising, ritual, magic, etc.) but to transmit a thought and
a content, it must have a structure. And then there will be time for
that structure can be translated to other supports. Typography, in its
most basic and utilitarian sense (not visual) is nothing more than a
language to translate that structure, offering the maximum possible
readability, through a series of techniques. And every type of
content, for example a 'table' (in Org terms not typographic terms), can
have many possible typographic translations, even translations that
don't consist of a 'table', in typographical terms. But typography is not
the only possible language to translate a content: think of texts
written to be heard, or texts written for absolutely personal use.
That's why I believe the least unhealthy way to put content in writing
is within a environment as agnostic as possible of the format. In that
environment is where the term 'emphasis' makes sense.

Best regards,

Juan Manuel 

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]