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Notification email from stackoverflow contains “<3” after zip code

When I received an e-mail from the Stack Overflow team this morning, there was a niggling "<3" at the end. I've seen this in various e-mails, not just from Stack Overflow.

Here's what it it looks like:

stackoverflow.com LLC, PO Box 1361, El Cerrito CA 94530 <3

Here's the source:

stackoverflow.com LLC, PO Box 1361, El Cerrito CA 94530 
<span title="because we care" style="color:maroon">&lt;3</span></span>

What could cause this? Is it an HTML character that Outlook does not render correctly? Or is Jeff trying to send me secret messages?

marked as duplicate by Jon Skeet, Robert Cartaino, Marc Gravell Jan 7 '10 at 15:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 7 '10 at 15:42

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 4
    It means heart. – Daniel A. White Jan 7 '10 at 15:40
  • 4
    I think it's Jeff trying to send you secret messages. – Tor Valamo Jan 7 '10 at 15:40
  • 1
    Even, you know better than to ask this here... – Sampson Jan 7 '10 at 15:41
  • 7
    What is love? Baby, don't hurt me. – Jonathan Feinberg Jan 7 '10 at 15:43
  • I know this just got migrated, but the reason I asked on SO instead of Meta was that I searched google for "<3" and found nothing. It wasn't until writing up the question that I searched on "&lt;3" that I figured out that it was a heart. I thought that it would be a useful (albeit fun) question to ask there. – Even Mien Jan 7 '10 at 15:48
  • I'm almost sure I've seen this question before, but it's not in the 'email' tag. And as you said, it's hard to search for. – mmyers Jan 7 '10 at 15:50
  • 3
    Unicode​​​​ FTW! ♥ – bobince Jan 7 '10 at 16:23

It's a sideways heart. The person sending the email is being cute.


It's because they care, but only to the extent of 2 care units (less than 3).


Stack Overflow loves you! <3

This is the actual code in the email:

<span title="because we care" style="color:maroon">&lt;3</span>

Its the symbol for love, a heart, expressing gratitude for reading their email and being a member of this community. <3

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