7

I was reading through the Formatting Sandobox here.

In the comments section of this answer, there are some comments that contain some text to the right of the username.

Such as:

Hello, I am Jon Skeet. ‮ teekS noJ - – Manishearth Mar 30 at 11:18

As a reply to a comment that asks how do they do that a user writes:

Yay, I figured it out!! Copy the character inside the codeblock to get it it's a mirroring character. Note that the codeblock may have placed itself after my username. "‮‮ " – Manishearth Mar 27 at 12:43

But I don't understand.

Can someone clarify?

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  • 17
    I am not sure ... ‮ ?ew naC
    – Naftali
    May 8, 2012 at 12:56
  • To clarify the comment, I'd supplied the character in the codeblock. ‮‮?huh ,looC May 8, 2012 at 13:34
  • 1
    Actually, my attempt at identity theft would have worked better at Physics, where the comment-username link styling and normal link styling is the same. (Cue complete chaos and identity theft spree at Physics) May 8, 2012 at 13:36
  • Whats cool is that Chrome's devtools are themselves webapps, so they get screwed by the character as well; and grokking how Panama and the rest did this magic was pretty hard (I knew it was a bidi thingy, but I first was looking for an unclosed bidi rtl span). All the devtools show is the mysterious <naps/> closing tag. :P May 8, 2012 at 13:39
  • @Manishearth Actually that tag doesn't need a closing tag :) (it is a self-closing tag) May 8, 2012 at 13:41
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    @AnishGupta: But naps have a duration! They must have open-close tags! And they must be nestable (seen Inception? ) :P May 8, 2012 at 13:44
  • @Manishearth I don't get that. I didn't see Inception. May 8, 2012 at 13:45
  • @AnishGupta: First thing, did you realize that <naps/> is </span> unicode-backwarded? Use Chrome, right click on Panama's comment (not mine, mine opens a new line and screws the effect), and inspect. There will be a mirrored span--> naps. As for my comment, I was saying that a "nap" (i.e. sleep), has a duration and thus does not qualify as a self-closing tag. And Inception had to do with dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams, so I was saying that, in addition to being non-self-closing, they must be nestable ;-) May 8, 2012 at 13:48
  • Random, bad, HTML joke, really :/ May 8, 2012 at 13:48
  • I realised that naps is span backwards. I did the Chrome thing when I read the question. Now I get the nap/sleep thing. I read the inception bit and thought it must be something to do with the movie. May 8, 2012 at 13:51
  • Why the downvote? May 8, 2012 at 14:05
  • 2
    Just to let you know, downvotes work slightly differently here on meta May 8, 2012 at 14:07
  • @Manishearth: ‮. ti daer I wonk I‮ May 8, 2012 at 14:10
  • Why more down votes ? May 9, 2012 at 6:05
  • 1
    @AnishGupta but yet you make the same comment...
    – Naftali
    May 9, 2012 at 21:34

2 Answers 2

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That is a unicode (RIGHT-TO-LEFT OVERRIDE) hack:

http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/202e/index.htm

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    It can be used in the SO comments. ‮ :-)
    – Naftali
    May 8, 2012 at 12:57
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    You're abusing that with your user name! Nice! :D
    – Lukas Eder
    May 8, 2012 at 12:59
  • All is fair here in the comments @LukasEder ‮
    – Naftali
    May 8, 2012 at 12:59
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    Please note that while a certain degree of fun and games are allowed on Meta, true to its lighthearted spirit, stuff like this will not be looked on kindly if you try it on Stack Overflow.
    – Cody Gray
    May 8, 2012 at 13:00
  • How can you write it do you write it as &#202E May 8, 2012 at 13:01
  • @AnishGupta I use the decimal version. I do: ALT + (08238) ‮
    – Naftali
    May 8, 2012 at 13:03
  • Hmmm.... ‮Does this work? May 8, 2012 at 13:07
  • That seemed to do it! ‮
    – Naftali
    May 8, 2012 at 13:09
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    @TheEstablishment: Yes, especially since it can be used to spoof usernames on sites where the link style is the same. meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/389/formatting-sandbox/… May 8, 2012 at 13:57
  • @Seth I am not sure what you are trying...‮
    – Naftali
    Mar 8, 2013 at 19:16
  • ‮You guys are seriously weird. ‭‮ Seriously....‭You guys are seriously weird. May 21, 2017 at 21:54
  • Go to unicode-table.com/en/#202E and copy. That is the easiest way. RTLO is used on the right. ‮This is the most entertaining way to type.
    – user495830
    Apr 17, 2019 at 3:22
3

Here's a website which you can directly copy it from instead of having to mess around with hex codes:

Copy the character from between the parentheses

(‮‮(

I think it's better to copy the parentheses themselves, and then remove them one by one. You may have to use your keyboard arrow keys for this, since the bidi character is invisible even when selected. It takes some practice and you have to realise that sometimes you need to move the arrow keys in the other direction.

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  • It doesn't work in chrome :( May 8, 2012 at 13:58
  • @AnishGupta: Clarified May 8, 2012 at 14:01
  • ‮‮‮won gnitset :) skrow tI May 8, 2012 at 14:03
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    @AnishGupta: ‮‮!eikooc a evaH !og ay erehT May 8, 2012 at 14:05
  • What's a bidi character? May 8, 2012 at 14:12
  • 1
    @AnishGupta: Bidi=BiDirectional . Some languages like Hebrew and Arabic write right to left. There's some CSS that can help here, and a bunch of Unicode overrides like the one above. May 8, 2012 at 14:14
  • Thanks! The comment needs to be at least 15 characters so I'm adding all this junk May 8, 2012 at 14:15
  • @ani - or just use a few zero width Unicode characters - pick it up from in between the brackets --> (​)...
    – Lix
    May 8, 2012 at 15:18
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    :) ​​ ​​​​​​​​​​ May 8, 2012 at 15:19
  • @Lix I'm aware of them but I couldn't be bothered to find them online May 8, 2012 at 15:24
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    @lix I was trying to use em recently, but all my efforts of copying the character failed. I finally scripted it :p May 8, 2012 at 15:27
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    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ May 25, 2012 at 14:11
  • Love this. ‮‮It is awesome!
    – coneybeare
    Mar 11, 2013 at 23:03
  • The website has been completely deleted apparently, Verizon says it couldn't find the site. Jun 11, 2020 at 14:25
  • Wow, very cool, ‮‮Look at this Nov 29, 2021 at 4:48

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