How is that different from any other tag you use on a daily basis? Standards mean that every element has some styles implied, and with small exceptions those are pretty much identical in every single browser. A list always has certain margin and padding and solid bullets. A header tag always has a certain font size. Links are always underlined and the same blue/red/purple colors. ...a strong tag is always bold.
But this is totally off topic.
(It is off-topic, a quite large assumption was made there)
The difference is, we do not let these implied styles just sit useless.
A link may be redefined color-wise, as may a list.
Strong makes an invalid assumption to the skin
Once an element is set to a font-weight:bold, it is working backwards
to not apply it within....
which is precisely why using a <span style='font-weight:normal;'> as group prefix does not resolve the issue at hand.
hence my utter beef with the strong tag as a whole... you cannot make it act properly in any manner, it outweighs any css defined within it regarding font-weight.
It is an assumption that the skinner does not want normal font-weight.... or will go clean them out.
in a nutshell, strong does more
the browser stock, it enforces