HTML Tags <=> Markdown Quick Reference @ Write Kit

Scott Granneman scott at
Wed Aug 5 14:11:31 EDT 2015

On 5 Aug 2015, at 9:06, Tom Humiston wrote:

> On Aug 4, 2015, at 10:26 AM, Gerald Bauer <gerald.bauer at> 
> wrote:
>> thus, <i> before <em> e.g. less typing
> They're not equivalent — there's far more difference than the amount 
> of typing, and they ought not be considered interchangeable. _When 
> used as intended, the em and strong units are almost always preferable 
> over the i and b elements._

I’m glad you quoted the specs. However, I wouldn’t say "almost 
always preferable", as it really depends on what you’re doing & what 
the content is. A lot of times, client websites that we’re working on 
end up using <i> & <b> far more than <em> & <strong>. Again, it just 

> In short, Gerald, in the guide you're preparing I wouldn't mention <i> 
> and <b> in connection with Markdown's *em* and **strong** syntax, 
> because they're really for something else.

The problem is that Markdown is so old that it pre-dates HTML5, which 
re-defined & re-emphasized the distinctions between what *appear* to be 
similar elements. Because of its age, Markdown doesn’t really provide 
a way to include <i> & <b>, which is understandable but unfortunate.

R. Scott Granneman
scott at ~
Contact info:

“At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition 
has placed 10,000 men to guard the past.”
       ---Maurice Maeterlink

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