In my experience with Font Awesome, you don't have to use
You can add the icon class to a
<div> and it works just the same.
You can also still put contents within the div like so:
<div class="icon-github">Fork me</div>
This will display the icon with the text inline to the right.
Note: I haven't really checked to see how IE7 handles this, but my guess is that the contents gets replaced by the icon.