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Inline Code Spans should not be used for emphasis, right?

While doing reviews, I've noticed that there is a growing tendency to use code formatting to emphasize keywords. I have so far rejected such edits for the obvious reason that I think that only code should be formatted as code, but also because the emphasis is not needed. However, such edits often get approved anyway.

This is one example.

As it turned out, three reviewers considered the added formatting an improvement to the above otherwise low-quality question.

Am I in the wrong here?

  • Yeah, I figured this had been asked before but couldn't find that question.
    – dandan78
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:10
  • 1
    Wasn't there a suggestion to have honeypot reviews in the suggested edit queue as well, somewhere...
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:30
  • Holy moley, yesterday even: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/159544/…, and one of the added suggestions for honeypot-types is an edit that adds random keywords as inline-code. =)
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:37
  • You should have used backticks to emphasize emphasize. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:42
  • @J.Steen I fear it won't help. Those approving backtickers are not robo reviewers and won't fall for those audits; they honestly think those are valid edits. To deal with them I already suggested this however it appears to be too "drastic" so won't get implemented. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:43
  • @ShaWizDowArd Which is why I agree with the suggestion of adding specific backtick-introducing honeypot edits, that target specific words, very cleverly.
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:45
  • @J.Steen cool, it was already suggested! :) Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:53
  • 2
    @ShaWizDowArd Yep, already upvoted the comment. It seems to me like there are a bunch of common edit-suggestions that should be specifically honeypot-ified: nonsense backticks, just adding tags, leaving seeming innocuous "help plz kthnx" in the question, et c.
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


No you're not in the wrong.

Using backticks for emphasis is not nice. What's even worse in this case is that the other issues with the post weren't fixed. The edits should have been rejected as "too minor".

If I see edits like this I reject them.

If you see edits like this that have been approved rollback the edit.

  • 2
    I did roll back the edit and did what I could to clean the question up.
    – dandan78
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:12
  • What means emphasis precisely? If I am referring to some procedure/method/variable using backticks for its name - then this is to emphasize that this is the very name of the procedure and thus not just a regular noun.
    – false
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:32
  • @false - emphasis is the use of italic, bold or even bold italic.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:34
  • 1
    @false backticks for the name of a procedure are fine. Using backticks for Javascript or SQL to draw attention to these words is not.
    – dandan78
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:35
  • @dandan78: OK. It's "keywords" which got me: Like while, break etc.
    – false
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:39
  • 3
    @false I would also apply a healthy dose of restraint in any case with keyword-highlighting. Is it necessary to understand the question? Then yes, by all means, add backticks. If it's perfectly clear and understandable, don't. IMHO. Just a rule I, myself apply to my own edits. Not trying to impose it on others. =)
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:47
  • NO, it's just a form of emphasis. There is nothing inherently wrong with using backticks to highlight a word or phrase. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 14:17
  • 3
    @LanceRoberts I'm curious why you think that, when there are other emphasizing options available? Or simply not emphasising at all, when it's not necessary.
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 14:36
  • @J.Steen, I use bolding more than I use code emphasis, but I think emphasizing certain terms is a good use for backticks, see others at the duplicate link. Note, I think the real problem is when people use too much emphasis, it makes the post look like some modern art extravaganza. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 14:44
  • @LanceRoberts Agree with the modern art bit, which is why I made my earlier comment about restraint. =)
    – J. Steen
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 14:49

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