Possible Duplicate:
Bolding words that include an underscore doesn't work
WMD unable to render markup inside words  

I was writing an answer on StackExchange and found that when you use asterisk around content with underscores, e.g. *I_Love_StackExchange* it simply doesn't make it italic.

I suppose this is because the underscores at the beginning and the end are also used to make content italic.

They look like this:

  • I_Love_StackExchange
  • _I_Love_StackExchange_

Does anyone know a way to italicize text that contains underscores?

  • 1
    @Arjan - I'm not totally sure it's a dupe. It seems like the system could reasonably italicize whole words which contain markdown even if it doesn't support markdown within words – Brad Mace Sep 15 '12 at 1:15
  • You' right, @Brad, I don't know how I used that post for the duplicate! I was looking for Jeff's statement about the support for intra-word markdown, which he mentioned in Bolding words that include an underscore doesn't work, and somehow followed to that post. Still then, it's surely a dupe of the latter. (In which my comments to the accepted answer state exactly what you're stating.) – Arjan Sep 15 '12 at 6:45

You're just confusing the Markdown parser. Try escaping them:

  • *I\_Love\_StackExchange*


  • _I\_Love\_StackExchange_


  • But, is this documented, and hence: future proof? – Arjan Sep 14 '12 at 17:28

I_Love_StackExchange Works.

You just have to escape the underscores with a backslash. That is:


You can also use the standard HTML <i> tag:


whichs renders as:


Here's <em> for comparison:


should look the same as <i> on SE:


Note though, that they do not have to be the same

  • Thanks! or <em>, right? – Ilia Rostovtsev Sep 14 '12 at 17:41
  • 1
    In this case yes, but they aren't always the same – Brad Mace Sep 14 '12 at 17:43
  • <i> does not render as italic on mobile. In fact, it does not show any special styling at all. <em> does though. – Arjan Sep 14 '12 at 19:27
  • @Arjan that sounds a bug you should report then, I don't believe <i> has been blacklisted or anything – Brad Mace Sep 14 '12 at 19:34

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