It’s ugly so stop it

*Why* do *so* many people *insist* on using the *asterisk* to *emphasise* text when we have perfectly good tags available for our use ? And what must a screen reader make of *junk* like *this*.
*F*F*S* stop it

(And no it’s not some failed use of markdown / textile / whatever. It’s laziness and stupidity).

Posted in WWW

16 thoughts on “It’s ugly so stop it

  1. It’s also habit because not all sites have great support for tags. Nothing is more annoying than seeing your comment with unprocessed ’em’ Include crossover from IMing and emailing as well. Tags don’t work in plain text messages.

    What’s up? You trying to work up a sweat for the US post? ;)

  2. I’d forgotten about Usenet, and given the evils of html there, I suppose the use of various characters to try and enhance “speech” has to be accepted … but then on usenet we have the overabundance of the emoticons and the utterly pointless l33t speak.

    But it is certainly ridiculous when we have people using virtually any blogging system and they have to use * to wrap words in – I find it odd to look at and isn’t it also the case that it makes for less creative use of the language ? Let’s take a word – “angry”

    I was *angry* with the customer service.
    Does that mean:
    a) I was very annoyed with the customer service
    b) I was incandescent with rage at the customer service
    c) I was angry with the customer service.
    Each communicates a different image, meaning and insight into the writer.

    I still do not like it :)

  3. Speaking from the viewpoint of a person who actually uses screen reading software, it’s…mildly annoying. But, I do it myself – not so much in my blog (though on a cursory glance over I caught myself doing it twice). I’ve never used it to emphasize text – but as a few people said above to “emote”. I think that comes more from years of chatting. Actually, in terms of emphasizing text a lazy way, I see it more often with the use of hyphens. (i.e. “This is -so- annoying.”) I haven’t really seen people do that in a long time, though and my British-guy-with-a-head-cold reader isn’t on right now, so I can’t really explain how strange doing that kind of stuff sounds.

    I just find it tacky to look at, never mind how annoying it is to listen to. (Shut up – Ctrl – is a great friend in those instances.)

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