HTML5 Killed the ‹big› Tag?!

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Ah, the evolution of technology, where, things gets better and better.

HTML5 chopped off the <big> tag, yet it retained the <small> tag. How consistent.

Instead of “big”, you are supposed to use “em” or “strong” or “b”? But “big” carries a sematic that's not one of emphasis, strong, warning, bold. If you are going to argue that HTML should be used for semantic markup, then please chop off {b, i, u} off the earth.

When would big be meaningful? For example, you want to show Chinese characters big, so user can see the detail.

鬍 ☠ 🌌 💐

Another reason is that sometimes i want to make a title larger, but semantically i don't want it to be a header such as {h1, h2, h3}. For example, a Tag cloud, fashionable around 2007.

Sure one can resort to CSS ➢ for example: <span style="font-size:4em">☠</span>, but “big” would carry with it a precise and semantic info. After all, “small” and “b” are there too.

When you get deep into a technology, often you find many odd shit, whose reasoning are buried in obscurity, or simply idiotic.

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