> Please excuse my ignorance, but I'd like clarification
> on the "<P>" element. Does this tag denote an _end_ of
> paragraph mark or a _begining/new_ paragraph mark?
A "P" element denotes _a_ paragraph;
the start-tag "<P>" marks the start of the paragraph
and the end-tag "</P>" marks the end of the paragraph.
> other words, which of the following should appear in a
> proper HTML document?
> <P>This is a paragraph.
> This is a paragraph<P>
The first -- with the start-tag at the beginning.
A note on terminology: the word "tag" refers to
the markup itself-- for example, the sequence of characters
less-than-symbol, forward-slash, capital P, greater-than-symbol
is a "tag" (in this case an end-tag).
The word "element" refers to everything between
a start-tag and its corresponding end-tag.
To further confuse things, some elements like "P", "DT",
"DD", and "LI" allow the end-tag to be omitted.
and the parser is supposed to figure out where the
element ends based on the context.