A while back I was reading through various question/answers on Stack Overflow. I stumbled upon one question (related to web technologies, maybe REST?) that had a beautiful and humorous response that started in normal text but slowly degraded into amazing Unicode characters and approximations of normal English text using various symbols. Where can I find this post?

I wanted to point it out to someone.

  • 1
    thanks for leading me to read that again. Tears of laughter. The pony! Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 1:05
  • 1
    The center cannot hold!
    – fretje
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 7:47
  • It's too bad this answer is locked. Moderators unlock!
    – bkaid
    Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


RegEx match open tags except XHTML self-contained tags

  • That's it, thanks! I'll accept as soon at it lets me... Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 0:17
  • Literally far and away the highest voted answer (or question) ever: stackoverflow.com/search?tab=votes&q=votes%3a1000 Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 2:15
  • Thanks, I didn't expect it to be that popular. I should have checked the top list first. : ) Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 4:59
  • Unfortunately, it’s misguided and incorrect, except as applies to cargo-cult programmers of low skill. For the rest of us, it is insulting. Actually, anybody who adds it as a supposed answershoudl be downvoted, because it does not even address the real question. It’s merely a joke answer, not a legitimate (read: technical) one.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 12, 2011 at 23:49
  • @tchrist fortunately there are hundreds of other questions about matching HTML with regex, so no harm done, and it's good to have some lightheartedness now and then.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 2:05
  • @Adam: The problem is that so many posters just plunk down that ref as though it were an actual answer — ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪᴛ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ — so much so that a hostile cultural climate here effectively forbids all rational discussion about the matter. It’s become knee-jerk cargo-cult programming. Where are the answers that rationally elaborate pros and cons, limits and possibilities, and the inherent situational dependencies of any answer? Sometimes regexes are the optimal answer for some of them. It depends on the real problem—which I confess we are seldom given in these simplistic descriptions and requests.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 2:40
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    @tchrist If someone tells you they want tips on how to hammer in a nail with a screwdriver, they should expect to get a lot of "Use a hammer instead" answers, mingled with a few, "When I did this, I used this technique," answers that address their specific desire to use the wrong tool for the job. I don't see why you are so unhappy with the answers posted - the fourth answer gives them what they want, but the top three answers are, "Don't use the wrong tool, here's the right tool." Anyone who demands to use regex in this way will manage just fine with the fourth and later answers.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 13:03

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