Float tells the browser whether to make the text flow to the left or the right of an object.
i think that's the reverse of float. float makes elements "float" in the surrounding elements--to the left or right of those elements. the other elements (like text) just wrap around the floated element (like in word when you set the text wrapping around something).
you need to watch out though: floated elements take up no vertical space, you need to plan for that, usually by using the clear tag (which stops elements from floating to the left/right/both sides of an element.
also, using float is way easier than relative positioning. the only thing you need to watch out for is floated elements not taking up space.