It seems people are not using
<kbd> correctly, and its keyboard-like rendering is wrong too.
For HTML5 (as used on these sites and its mobile theme) the editor's draft at w3.org currently states:
kbdelement represents user input (typically keyboard input, although it may also be used to represent other input, such as voice commands).
kbdelement is nested inside a
sampelement, it represents the input as it was echoed by the system.
kbdelement contains a
sampelement, it represents input based on system output, for example invoking a menu item.
kbdelement is nested inside another
kbdelement, it represents an actual key or other single unit of input as appropriate for the input mechanism.
So note the nested
<kbd><kbd>...</kbd></kbd> in their HTML5 examples:
kbdelement is used to indicate keys to press:
<p>To make George eat an apple, press <kbd><kbd>Shift</kbd>+<kbd>F3</kbd></kbd> </p>
In this second example, the user is told to pick a particular menu item. The outer
kbdelement marks up a block of input, with the inner
kbdelements representing each individual step of the input, and the
sampelements inside them indicating that the steps are input based on something being displayed by the system, in this case menu labels:
<p>To make George eat an apple, select <kbd><kbd><samp>File</samp></kbd>|<kbd><samp>Eat Apple...</samp></kbd></kbd> </p>
Such precision isn't necessary; the following is equally fine:
<p>To make George eat an apple, select <kbd>File | Eat Apple...</kbd> </p>
When people adhere to the above on these sites, this is what we see:
To make George eat an apple, press Shift+F3
To make George eat an apple, select File|Eat Apple...
To make George eat an apple, select File | Eat Apple...
I know someone could fix the CSS for that. But that would still not make people use
<kbd> in the recommended way. So, I'd say:
If screen readers somehow benefit from using
<kbd>(even if used in the wrong way) then at least use a different rendering for regular and mobile browsers. Even monospace would be better, I feel:
To make George eat an apple, press
To make George eat an apple, select
File | Eat Apple...
If screen readers don't benefit at all, then just ban
Let the downvoting commence! ;-)