The name "FONT" should also be considered, since that's already
deployed as an experimental Netscape extension. (There it's
only used to specify the font size, but other presentation-only
attributes could be added as well). Personally, I prefer "TEXT"
over "FONT" or "C".
I agree that there is a need for such a tag. Although in *most*
cases one of the semantic elements like <EM>, <STRONG>, or <DFN> is
more appropriate, there are plenty of Web pages which apply formatting
for the sake of formatting, and there is currently no general-purpose
semantics-free phrase-level element which can be used for this purpose.