It appears that in my eagerness to jump on XHTML, I’d completely overlooked the meaning of mark-up.
It’s a well ignored fact that HTML tags have meaning, rather than just being presentational aids. This is especially true of XML based mark-up, which by definition exists to describe anything.
Matthew Thomas puts this straight effectively, and offers a really rather timely reminder that there’s more to XHTML than what gets rendered and that <em> is not a replacement for <i> at all.
In fact, at a time when Microsoft are about to move to standard XHTML support with ASP.NET 2.0 (and an inevitable implication that IE will follow, perhaps?), people really should take note of how to use modern mark-up properly and keep the web ticking over.