Italics get used to express important semantic meaning, so unicode should support them

Sławomir Osipiuk sosipiuk at
Sat Dec 12 23:28:56 CST 2020

I mostly agree with the general consensus, though probably not as firmly. However, I had a showerthought that, specifically in the case of Latin terms, marking them as such would be a legitimate use of the Unicode language tags. Indeed, an indication of “this is Latin text” would be more correct and future-proof than “this is italicized”, since the proper styling to indicate Latin text may change with the times, and because tags are default-ignorable, this approach would still be compatible with “plain text” programs. The wiki (or whatever software) could be made to italicize Latin-within-English text that is tagged as such.


I know the tags are officially deprecated, but I personally think they got a bad rap. If – and that is a big if – a system for basic formatting (italic/bold/underlined/nonspecifically-emphasized) is ever implemented in Unicode, it should be via the default-ignorable tags.


Sławomir Osipiuk

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