8

In the comments to: Why duplicate symbol commands there is the following exchange:

according to the moderator here: Is there a (La)TeX distribution running on iPad? Please don't use quote (>) markup for emphasis. That's not what it's for.

FYI, in the brotherhood of this forum (cstheory.stackexchange.com) we nearly always use such a mechanism to highlight the question :D. This is more like highlighting rather than quoting.

(Note that this isn't a full reflection of the exchange and the tone may come across other than it did in the original. Also, the attributed remark was incorrectly attributed as a moderator, though it did garner a few votes.)

On MathOverflow, I often use quotation blocks to highlight the actual question. This is because I like to provide background and motivation for those that want it to make the question itself clearer (and thus what would constitute a good answer clearer), but that can make it hard to see at a glance what the actual question is. On a short question such as the one I've linked then there's no need to mark out the question, but on longer questions it can be useful to do this. So, my question:

What is an acceptable way of making the actual question stand out?

A suggestion is to use bold, so here's bold text, with a little bit of fluff beforehand to make this line into a reasonably sized paragraph, otherwise it isn't a fair test. What more can I say to fill in this paragraph? Not a lot, it's probably time that I stopped this nonsense.

What is an acceptable way of making the actual question stand out?

The other suggestion is to use italic, so here's italic text, with a little bit of fluff beforehand to make this line into a reasonably sized paragraph, otherwise it isn't a fair test. What more can I say to fill in this paragraph? Not a lot, it's probably time that I stopped this nonsense.

What is an acceptable way of making the actual question stand out?

Just for completeness, here's bold and italic, again with a little bit of fluff beforehand to make this line into a reasonably sized paragraph, otherwise it isn't a fair test. What more can I say to fill in this paragraph? Not a lot, it's probably time that I stopped this nonsense.

What is an acceptable way of making the actual question stand out?

(With facetious reference to a recent discussion, perhaps the syntax >? could be introduced which converts to a <div class="question"> ... </div> and thus can be appropriately CSS styled.)

  • Maybe italics or bold? – Caramdir Jan 3 '11 at 15:25
  • 3
    @Caramdir: I really like the fact that with quotes, the text is brought out without losing readability. I feel that both bold and italics don't draw the eye to it quite so much and they suffer from a loss of readability. I'll put them in to try ... – Loop Space Jan 5 '11 at 10:26
  • This is an example where the OP used a quote to emphasize the question, and it got changed to bold. My personal feeling is that this wasn't an improvement. – Hendrik Vogt Jan 5 '11 at 10:51
7

I've used bold in questions to highlight the actual question and in answers to highlight the one sentence answer where there the rest of the text is explanation. I don't see anything wrong using quotes for it either.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .