There are several questions that touch upon this bug (?) peripherally, but none of the ones I could find address the question exactly.

I post mostly on ELU, where I am one of the posters that regularly need to write out words and forms that are reconstructed for an earlier stage of a given language. Such forms are traditionally marked by a preceding asterisk, and since they are quoted words in a different language, they should be italicised. In other words, I and others frequently need to write words like *this in italic with a preceding asterisk.

What’s odd is that this works in both questions/answers and in comments, but ‘backwards’. In questions, the asterisk has to be put outside the underscores, otherwise it doesn’t work; in comments, it has to be put inside them:

_*test_ = *test
*_test_ = *test [what we want]

_*test_ = *test [what we want]
*_test_ = *_test_

This is obviously related to the issue described in this question; but it is somewhat different.

Is there a particular reason comments have to be ‘backwards’ in this respect? It would be so much easier to remember how to write these forms if it were at least done in the same way everywhere.

  • 3
    You could always just escape the asterisk using \* - works the same in posts and comments. _\*Test_ = *Test (PS, technically the *_test_ method for posts shouldn't work.) – animuson Mar 29 '14 at 16:10
  • @animuson, I’ll probably start doing that from now on. It wasn’t until I started looking at some of the previous formatting questions and the sandbox, though, that I realised characters could be escaped in Markdown at all. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 29 '14 at 16:17

Thanks to this change, this will behave as expected after the next build. In questions and answers, either of your two versions will work (the only difference of course being whether the asterisk is italicized, which hardly matters).

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