Emphasis needs more space after it

An emphasis gobbles the following space (or does not add some needed additional space),

text *text*  text <em>text</em>  text


becomes

text text text text text

(I can't use \␣ here...) Interestingly, at meta.stackexchange this does not happen. Is it possible to correct this, please?

The "**" is used automatically when the "Emphasis <em> Ctrl+I" button is used.

• what you're asking for, in other words, is an automatic italic correction. i agree totally. – barbara beeton Jun 20 '12 at 13:11
• @barbarabeeton: Yes. When \textit{} has it, why should ** not have it? – Stephen Jun 20 '12 at 17:00
• Isn't that more of a bug (or missing feature) in the rendering engines of browsers? – Caramdir Jun 20 '12 at 23:29
• @Caramdir: Could be. Is there any browser which displays this right (i.e. with italic correction)? – Stephen Aug 1 '12 at 17:24
• No layout engine but TeX, AFAIK, has the notion of italic correction, but probably it can be emulated with some CSS voodoo. – Khaled Hosny Dec 15 '12 at 15:40
• I normally add a &thinsp; after the italic text. – Qrrbrbirlbel Dec 15 '12 at 23:52
• (If I understand you comment about \␣:) On that node, &nbsp; includes a normal-width but non-breakable space that will not be gobbled (~). Anyway, I miss an italic correction, too. – Qrrbrbirlbel Dec 16 '12 at 4:27