arborint, I really hate argue with you but yes they essentially are meaningless. The W3C defines them as "generic containers". If I have <p>something</p> that on its own has meaning. I know it is a paragraph, and that is what its role in the document is. If I have <em>somthing</em> I know what that is, it has a very specific meaning and role. The same is true with most other tags. However, if I have <div>something</div>, it doesn't have any kind of real or specific meaning. You cannot tell what role it plays in the document just by looking at it, because it has no real role, other than being a "generic block level container". DIV *may* have been meant for a "non-paragraph text block" in HTML 3, but that isn't true, even with the now old HTML 4.0 that is not its definition, and that is certainly not its role in XHTML. It could be a layer in a stack of layers to generate some rendering effect, it could draw a line, it could hold an image, it could hold space, it could hold a bunch of paragraphs as you say its purpose is, or it could be a lot of other things, but its role is not concrete; not like other tags. It IS a generic tag. That IS its definition according to the W3C, and practically that means that it is utterly meaningless on its own. YOU have to give it meaning in the docment.