A while ago I came across the CSS3 Ruby spec, but it seemed to only apply to East Asian texts. Then today I ran across it again (see User Agent Man’s post) and realized it’s perfect for glossing texts.
For example, here are the first few verses of the Chapter 2 exercise in Bennett’s An Introduction to the Gothic Language:
In dagam Hērōdis þiudanis qēmun Iōsēf jah Maria in Bēþlahaím.
jah jáinar gabar Maria Iēsu.
jah haírdjōs wēsun jáinar ana akra
In dagam Hērōdis
Kind of verbose, though. If I end up using this a lot, I’ll probably write a preprocessor that lets me use abbreviated syntax — something like this:
In::(in, into) dagam::(days) Hērōdis::(of Herod)
Sidenote: I was originally using a combining macron for the macrons (U+0304), but Georgia doesn’t do the combining correctly. Times New Roman does, though. Weird. I ended up just going with the precomposed characters. Oh well.