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Re: Strike-through Text


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Mar 28, 2013 12:03AM

Chagnon | PubCom wrote:

> As an editor, I think there's a subtle difference between deleting text and
> striking it.

There is an essential difference between deleting text and marking it as
deleted, by striking or otherwise.

> If the text is deleted, then it should be removed completely from the file.
> You won't know that it was ever in the file.

But HTML, or CSS, has no way of actually deleting anything in that
sense. They can be used to mark some text as deleted, in the sense that
the text still appears but in a manner that suggests that it is no more
applicable. Saying that <del> markup means deleted text is thus somewhat

If <del> really meant deleted text, we could use a CSS rule like del {
display: none }, at least for speech and Braille medias. This might
actually be better than not doing anything and letting browsers render
the <del> element content as normal content. But it would lose the
information that something is present in the document but indicated as
not applicable.

Consider the following example: "The price is <del>200</del> 150
dollars". Reading it as "The price is 200 150 dollars" would be
confusing, wouldn't it? Reading it as "The price is 150 dollars" would
make much more sense, though it would omit the information that the
price was previously 200 dollars.

> I don't think the <del> tag adequately conveys the subtleties of the
> message.

I don't see subtlety as the problem here. The problem is that <del>, as
well as <strike> and <s>, which effectively mean the same thing, conveys
a relatively clear message in visual rendering, but things go all wrong
in non-visual rendering. What the nuances of the intentions of the
author were are not relevant.

We might consider using CSS code like the following:

@media braille, embossed, speech {
del:before { content: "Deleted: "; }
del:after { content: " (End of deletion.) "; }

This would be comparable to "reading quotes", as in "and I quote" and
"end of quote", or simply "quote" and "unquote".

I wonder how clumsy that would sound. But I cannot imagine any better
way to convey the idea.