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From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt
Date: Sep 27, 2012 12:20PM

If the reason for italics is a book title, then the CITE tag can be used instead of EM/I. In most browsers, this is rendered visually as italics, and this tag as a reasonably clear semantic value. If it is embedded within a paragraph that is already STRONG then the tags won't actually be adjacent.

BTW, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one confused at the distinction between B/I and STRONG/EM. In a recent investigation, a tester told me that no screen reader distinguished either B/I or STRONG/EM by default. In some like JAWS, when they were, then they treated B & STRONG as equivalents (and I/EM). Yet, I rarely see STRONG/EM support demanded by the JAWS user community - I've even heard a few users claim it was distracting.

My intuition is that bolding and italics are "accessibility devices for the sighted" that don't always translate well to speech.
Maybe if artificial voices improve to have realistic (language-specific) intonation, that situation could change. But I also agree with those who claim that people add bold/italics but can't articulate a reason.

My two cents


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
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