u element represents a span of text with an unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation, such as labeling the text as being a proper name in Chinese text (a Chinese proper name mark), or labeling the text as being misspelt.
In most cases, another element is likely to be more appropriate: for marking stress emphasis, the
em element should be used; for marking key words or phrases either the
b element or the
mark element should be used, depending on the context; for marking book titles, the
cite element should be used; for labeling text with explicit textual annotations, the
ruby element should be used; for labeling ship names in Western texts, the
i element should be used.
The default rendering of the
u element in visual presentations clashes with the conventional rendering of hyperlinks (underlining). Authors are encouraged to avoid using the
u element where it could be confused for a hyperlink.