> OK, let me ask a question here. What is the root element of a page
> has been properly marked up with HTML or XHTML?
The root element is the html element.
> In XHTML, it must proclaim the namespace on the <html> element,
> otherwise it won't validate.
> And I think that this is a valid CSS question, depending on what you
> to define certain properties that are inherited by child elements.
In both HTML4 and XHTML the html element is required.
In XHTML, the html tag is indeed required.
For html4, though, it's optional.
>From the spec:
7.3 The HTML element
Start tag: optional, End tag: optional
However, the omission of the tag doesn't mean the html element does not
exist. It does.
You can use your css selectors on the html element in an html4 document
with the html tag ommited.