Specialized renditional keywords: bestow and bequeath

rendition renditional default
keyword bestow bequeath rend

Use of the bestow and bequeath keywords to propagate renditional information from an element to its children or descendants

The bestow and bequeath keywords provide ways of propagating renditional information from one element onto its children or its descendants (i.e. elements nested more deeply within it). These keywords can save a great deal of encoding and reduplication if used correctly, but they are complex to use and may be overkill in many cases. Cases where they may be useful include sections of text whose background rendition is reversed (e.g. a prefatory div in italics), where the rendition of phrase-level elements is the reverse of the default; also in long quotations which propagate quotation marks down the left margin.

The syntax for these two keywords is identical; it first identifies the rendition(s) to be bestowed or bequeathed, and then the element or elements to which that rendition is to be given (with multiple recipient elements separated by spaces). The function of these two keywords is also nearly identical, except that the bestow keyword propagates its features to all of the element’s descendants (any element within it, no matter how deeply nested), whereas the bequeath keyword propagates its features only to the element’s children (that is, the elements which are immediately nested within it).

In this example, the encoding says that all persName, placeName, foreign and emph elements within this div will be given the rendition rend="slant(italic)face(roman)":

<div rend="bestow( (slant(italic)face(roman)) (persName placeName foreign emph))">

Because the bestow keyword was used, this rendition will be propagated to all instances of these elements within the div, even if they are nested within other elements; if the bequeath keyword had been used, the rendition would be given only to direct children of the div element.

Thus bequeath is appropriate in cases like nested lists, where the same element needs different treatment depending on its level of nesting, as shown in Example 1 below.

In this example, the items in the outer list get bullets, but the items in the nested list (subitems 1 and 2) do not. The nested parentheses in the keyword value look confusing, but if you take each component separately it becomes clearer. The two basic parts are the rendition ladder being bequeathed, and the name of the element(s) it will affect. Each of these components are enclosed in a separate set of parentheses, and then the whole thing is enclosed within parentheses to become the argument of the bequeath keyword.

The bestow keyword is appropriate in cases where you want the rendition to affect all instances of a particular element which occur within the parent element, not just the direct children. An example of this would be quotations in early texts, where the quotation marks extend down the entire margin of the quotation. In this case, the element to be affected is lb, which is often a direct child of the q element. However, since lb might nest inside other elements which cross line breaks (such as name), bequeath will not work (since in those cases lb is not a direct child of q). In this case, bestow is necessary, since it will propagate rendition to all lb elements within the q element, no matter how deeply nested:

<q rend="bestow( (pre(&ldquo;)) (lb) )">

Examples

Example 1.

<list rend="bequeath( (pre(&bullet;) indent(+1)) (item))">
<item>First item</item>
<item>Second item</item>
<item><list><item>subitem 1</item>
                    <item>subitem 2</item></list>
<item>Third item</item>
</list>

Example 2.

A very complex example in which the bestow keyword acts to bestow the bequeath keyword on two of the nested elements. There are three bestow events in the example below. The first bestows a quotation mark at the beginning of each p, opener, and salute within the entire quotation. The second bestows a bequeath keyword on salute, such that line breaks within salute receive a quotation mark. The third bestows another bequeath keyword, this time on signed, such that persName within signed will receive a quotation mark.

The original text looks like this:

"Madam
"Permit me to thank you for the favour you con-
ferred on me, by sending me your tragedy. I trust
you will not deem me guilty of flattery when I as-
sure you that few productions of the present poetical
age have afforded me more pleasure, than the perusal
of the second act; the scene between Honoria and
her father is very well managed, and capable of
much effect; as is the scene with the banditti in the
third.
"I imagine many will unite with me in observing
how much your continuing to persevere in this spe-
cies of composition would increase your profit, and
enhance your poetical reputation; which has al-
ready much signalized itself in the rich field of Eng-
lish literature.
          "I have the honour to remain,
                     "Madam, &c. &c.

St. James’s Square,           (Signed)       “LEEDS.”
Friday Morning.

The encoding looks like this:

<quote rend="pre()bestow((pre(&ldquo;))(p opener closer))bestow((bequeath((pre(&ldquo;))(lb)))(salute))bestow((bequeath((pre(&ldquo;))(persName)))(signed))">
<text id="TR00190-01">
<body>
<div type="letter">
  <opener rend="indent(2)">
<salute rend="case(smallcaps)">Madam,</salute></opener>
<p>Permit me to thank you for the favour you con&shy;
<lb/>ferred on me, by sending me your tragedy. I trust
<lb/>you will not deem me guilty of flattery when I as&shy;
<lb/>sure you that few productions of the present poetical
<lb/>age have afforded me more pleasure, than the perusal
<lb/>of the second act; the scene between <persName>Honoria</persName> and
<lb/>her father is very well managed, and capable of
<lb/>much effect; as is the scene with the banditti in the
<lb/>third.</p>
<p>I imagine many will unite with me in observing
<cb/>
<lb/>how much your continuing to persevere in this spe&shy;
<lb/>cies of composition would increase your profit, and
<lb/>enhance your poetical reputation; which has al&shy;
<lb/>ready much signalized itself in the rich field of Eng&shy;
lish literature.</p>
<closer rend="indent(2)"><salute>I have the honour to remain,
<lb rend="indent(3)"/>Madam, &amp;c. &amp;c.</salute>
<signed rend="indent(3)">(Signed)
<persName rend="pre(&ldquo;)case(allcaps)align(right)" key="dukeoflee.bew">Leeds</persName>.</signed>
<dateline rend="slant(italic)"><placeName>St. James’s Square</placeName>,
<lb rend="indent(1)"/><name>Friday</name>
Morning.</dateline></closer>
</div>
</body>
</text>
</quote>