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Stop using carets^ as the text for hyperlinks
July 14, 2006 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Suggestion: Stop using carets^ as the text for hyperlinks, as in this thread, where, for example, barbituates^ and delysid^ could have appeared as simply barbituates and delysid.

The latter is both more readable, and in keeping with (albeit unwritten) internet convention. The former uses a symbol whose meaning is already defined, and does not have anything to do with "read more about the preceeding word here."
posted by odinsdream to Etiquette/Policy at 6:29 AM (102 comments total)

This was just discussed like five seconds ago.
posted by youarenothere at 6:33 AM on July 14, 2006


Check here and here.
posted by GuyZero at 6:36 AM on July 14, 2006


The unease caused by a trend can be measured in the frequency of metatalk posts addressing that trend. And, yeah, I hate the carets too.
posted by cortex at 6:42 AM on July 14, 2006


Yeah, aside from being annoying, it is semantically meaningless.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:43 AM on July 14, 2006


Yeah, aside from being annoying, it is semantically meaningless.

Don't make me page languagehat. If a new convention arises, doesn't the corresponding symbol become meaningful by definition? This has no bearing on whether you like it or not.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:46 AM on July 14, 2006


Let us hedge our bets and say that, as of now, there is no widely accepted meaningfulness to caret-as-link-to-reference.
posted by cortex at 6:48 AM on July 14, 2006


I too hate these. That is all.
posted by dame at 6:48 AM on July 14, 2006


If a new convention arises, doesn't the corresponding symbol become meaningful by definition?

Depends on whether it is a convention, which is a matter of contention. I agree with you in principle, tho'
posted by Mr. Six at 6:49 AM on July 14, 2006


^
.

!
posted by Wolof at 6:51 AM on July 14, 2006


i like them because they set the stupid filler wikipedia links off from the Real Content. Mouseover + status bar read = too much for me to handle.
posted by soma lkzx at 6:51 AM on July 14, 2006


Let us hedge our bets and say that, as of now, there is no widely accepted meaningfulness to caret-as-link-to-reference.

Exactly. So where the hell did it come from? It's here, for sure. As I've said before, I have no really strong opinion on the caret either way, but somehow I find myself vigorously defending the practice against a few people that seem to rabidly hate it for some reason.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 AM on July 14, 2006


er, ^, that is.
posted by Wolof at 6:54 AM on July 14, 2006


It's here, for sure.

A few misuses of semantical markup do not a convention make.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2006


goodnewsfortheinsane, well, the caret was originally used by editors to indicate where some missing information should appear in text. As such, it's clear why the symbol is what it is. It looks like an arrow, a symbol indicating direction. So, when handwritten, it would hopefully be clear to the reader that whatever is handwritten should appear where the caret is pointing. Typographically, this evolved to mean that there was a missing letter, like in hôtel for hostel, where the s has been dropped.

The caret-as-hyperlink "convention" usage makes no sense, because entire phrases and words can be the actual hyperlink, making any extra punctuation indicating links superfluous as simply a matter of fact.
posted by odinsdream at 6:58 AM on July 14, 2006


Depends on whether it is a convention, which is a matter of contention.

I thought the point of contention was that there is a new convention that clearly conflicts with the old convention, which isn't cool. I mean, it may be of a low temperature, but it's definitely not hip to start new conventions in language. I mean, it may be related to the sides of your waist, but... well, the point is, everything should only mean one thing, because that's how communication works, right?

(I think the new convention is dumb, but not because it's new.)

A few misuses of semantical markup do not a convention make.

"Semantical" is not a word. So you might say it's not semantical, but I still know what you meant.
posted by scottreynen at 7:02 AM on July 14, 2006


The caret-as-hyperlink "convention" usage makes no sense, because entire phrases and words can be the actual hyperlink, making any extra punctuation indicating links superfluous as simply a matter of fact.

Neatly put odinsdream. I'm in a better mood today, so will refrain from all calling users who deploy it parrot-cocked oafs, as I did in yesterday's thread on the topic.
posted by jack_mo at 7:03 AM on July 14, 2006


I suggest we replace the ^ with a *.
posted by crunchland at 7:04 AM on July 14, 2006


"Semantical" is not a word. So you might say it's not semantical, but I still know what you meant.

"Semantic markup" — my fault. I've seen it used elsewhere, so I assumed it was convention, ironically.
posted by Mr. Six at 7:05 AM on July 14, 2006


I continue to fail to understand how people can get so exercised about this amazingly trivial subject. "OMG a caret! It's the end of civilization!!" Don't like it? Don't use it.
posted by languagehat at 7:08 AM on July 14, 2006


My mum says carets help you see in the dark.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2006


It's because it is ugly & distracting, languagehat. Haven't you any aesthetic sense?!?!?!
posted by dame at 7:13 AM on July 14, 2006


Is there any past history of a metatalk thread about a disliked posting habit actually making the habit stop? Or are metatalk threads like this just a vent?
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 7:14 AM on July 14, 2006


Oh^, fuck^ off^.

That done, I agree with the stupidity of carety linkage. But you shoulda checked that MeTa shit first, man.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:15 AM on July 14, 2006


"I suggest we replace the ^ with a *."

And then what would we use to denote Barry Bonds' "records", huh?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:15 AM on July 14, 2006


Don't like it? Don't use it.

If you reallyreally don't like it, misuse it and dilute its meaning.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:16 AM on July 14, 2006


Is there any past history of a metatalk thread about a disliked posting habit actually making the habit stop?

This and related posts could have been improved slightly with a suggestion to add a programmatic solution, namely to parse for Wikipedia links and format them to a standard. This is already done for Amazon referrals and carriage returns, among others, so if the issue is one of contention, it seems trivial to format Wikipedia links as one possible solution to the problem.
posted by Mr. Six at 7:18 AM on July 14, 2006


stavros had the best joke on it in the original thread.

Using the caret for the link makes the poster look like a moron. Isn't that punishment enough? However, my pitchfork has been collecting dust as of late.
posted by caddis at 7:24 AM on July 14, 2006


And then what would we use to denote Barry Bonds' "records", huh?

How about the ^?

Truthfully, this all reminds me of the cries bemoaning one-link posts or y2karl's formatting. The reality of it is that unless you're the person pressing the "POST" button, you have no control whatsoever over what is in the text of a message. Until you get that simple concept through your thick skull and accept it as an unmitigated truth, you'll continue to be frustrated and annoyed with other people's posting styles.
posted by crunchland at 7:28 AM on July 14, 2006


Let me just state for the record I can't stand that notation. Normally it's used to denote a wikipedia link. Well, I can see which links are wikipedia links by mousing over them. It's also one of the most jarring symbols, visually stick above the word line the way it does. If you really must indicate which links are wikipedia links you could do something like "metafilter (wikipedia) is a cool site". If you have only one link, then just make the word a link.

I've linked to wikipedia to give people some background, but the links should never be the major part of the story. In the linked FPP they're totally pointless.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 AM on July 14, 2006


I'd rather seee "barbiturates^" than "barbituates".
posted by Zed_Lopez at 7:36 AM on July 14, 2006


Harder to click = Bad.
posted by theora55 at 7:36 AM on July 14, 2006


The reality of it is that unless you're the person pressing the "POST" button, you have no control whatsoever over what is in the text of a message.

More or less true. I have, however, had some success with polite, private emails.
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2006



posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2006


I suggest people stop trying to turn their posts into essays. We all know where Wikipedia is. We don't need you to link every word that's in both your post and the wiki. You are not being graded.

This all stems from the idiocy that "one link posts are bad" and it's getting more annoying every day.
posted by dobbs at 7:39 AM on July 14, 2006


This all stems from the idiocy that "one link posts are bad" and it's getting more annoying every day.

Stupid is as stupid does.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:43 AM on July 14, 2006


The carets are a good addition. If you're using technical or historical terms that most people aren't familiar with, it's a basic courtesy to provide links to additional sources. If you don't people will just ignore your post.
posted by nixerman at 7:45 AM on July 14, 2006


The caret was originally used to create a wiki link for words that linked themselves to articles or sites. It is unnecessary on words that are not already hyperlinked.
posted by Eideteker at 7:47 AM on July 14, 2006


If you're using technical or historical terms that most people aren't familiar with, it's a basic courtesy to provide links to additional sources.

Yes, but that's why people make links out of those technical terms. It's a simple and intuitive custom, and it ain't hardly broke.
posted by cortex at 7:48 AM on July 14, 2006


cortex, linking the terms themselves is fine. It doesn't matter whether your use a caret or not. Really, I've always been a bit partial to the '&' symbol, myself. It has a certain voluptuous, sinewy elegance that turns me on. Anyways, as long as the link is there it's all good.
posted by nixerman at 7:54 AM on July 14, 2006


We need to keep making MetaTalk threads till people stop doing this. It's making me crazy.
posted by chunking express at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2006


Maybe this will be the thing that leads to all out civil war. Finally.
posted by absalom at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2006


Harder to click = Bad.

Bingo.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2006


Just say no to hypertextural frippery!
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:11 AM on July 14, 2006


The deeper point is that there's already an overuse of Wikipedia links in front page posts. For example, what does the Wikipedia link actually add in this post that the first Alvin Lucier link does not? Pretty much nothing. In fact, it's a rare Wikipedia page that offers more about a subject than a lovingly created academic or personal site about an artist/event/etc - and those are the kind of sites we're supposed to be linking. There's a reason posts made of nothing but Wikipedia pages are considered lame here.

Since it's rare that a parenthetical link to a Wikipedia page is valuable in a front page post, coming up with a brand new use of an established symbol to replace the simple convention of an HTML link is just stupid. That it also interferes with readability on a site whose emphasis has always been simple text is, for some of us - including but not limited to the former copy editors in the house - pretty close to infuriating. That folks like languagehat and mathowie don't see the readability and uselessness issues as worth defending is just one of those momentary bubbles o' error we can only hope will quickly burst.
posted by mediareport at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2006


Funny, I was just telling EatThe Weak last night how much I enjoyed caret.
posted by nadawi at 8:21 AM on July 14, 2006


Fuck. Stop already people.
posted by chunking express at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2006


^
posted by Skot at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2006


Yes, but that's why people make links out of those technical terms.

Agreed, but sometimes those names or terms are already hyperlinked, and sometimes for good reason.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 AM on July 14, 2006


I actually thought it was a bug in post or post preview causing these. I wondered why the links were getting junked up and didn't realize it was on purpose.
posted by pieoverdone at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2006


Agreed, but sometimes those names or terms are already hyperlinked, and sometimes for good reason.

Then put it in parentheses. That's what people did before this brain virus screwed everyone up.
posted by dame at 8:43 AM on July 14, 2006


Agreed, but sometimes those names or terms are already hyperlinked, and sometimes for good reason.

Which is a peculiar edgecase, and not really relevant to wider use—that someone occasionally wants exactly two links relating to a specific term does not at al explain the need for stand-alone carets the rest of the time. Nor is there any clear need for a single canonical symbol for "oh and here's some more information about that because googling is hard".

And it's ugly, and it's hard to click.

So far as I can tell, there's no argument for the caret other than pure faddish delight in conspicuously deploying it.
posted by cortex at 8:43 AM on July 14, 2006


The caret was originally used to create a wiki link for words that linked themselves to articles or sites. It is unnecessary on words that are not already hyperlinked.

Exactly. I'm going to edit the carets out of this post as they are unnecessary. I think they're ok on the end of an already-linked word (as a source of wiki backup info) but just hanging on a word is stupid.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2006


i hate the caret too. flag all posts with carets as noise, and call the poster out personally on MeTa for their crappy wikipedia-laden post. I'm starting with you, dminor. Your post sucks.
posted by casconed at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2006


Wow, looks like admins have done a cleaning.

CARET BEGONE!
posted by dobbs at 9:06 AM on July 14, 2006


Man. And that post was pure 24-caret gold.
posted by cortex at 9:12 AM on July 14, 2006


The reality of it is that unless you're the person pressing the "POST" button, you have no control whatsoever over what is in the text of a message. *

(* or matt or jess, evidently.)
posted by crunchland at 9:22 AM on July 14, 2006


Nor is there any clear need for a single canonical symbol for "oh and here's some more information about that because googling is hard".

Googling is easy, but the laziness of the general public cannot be overestimated, nor their attention spans underestimated. Writing about non-mainstream topics (which is a Good Metafilter Thing in my view) while quietly toeing the "if you want to know what I'm on about just google it" line to me is akin to saying "oh, just skip this post, it's about things beyond your knowledge, there's a Bush post right below this one, you know who he is, right?".

So far as I can tell, there's no argument for the caret other than pure faddish delight in conspicuously deploying it.

This is the single argument in this whole brouhaha that baffles me most. I've heard other users present similar points, but I just don't get it. "Look, I'm using a punctuation mark to link to encyclopedia articles because it's cool in geek school, am I cool in geek school too now? Can I come over and play at Matt's house?" Come on. Linking to encyclopedias warrants no faddish delight, even amongst the geekiest among us geeks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:47 AM on July 14, 2006


The first time I saw this usage, my immediate reaction was: don't be a tw@.

It's not useful enough to warrant the ugliness. It's not like we have a bunch of special punctuation character usage conventions already (except that the @ sign thing is still hanging around) and this is just another one - the site is entirely free of this kind of thing and this is part of what makes it special. As someone mentioned in that question on Ask Metafilter a day or two ago, sometimes being distinctive is more about the things you don't do.
posted by teleskiving at 10:04 AM on July 14, 2006


By which I mean, of course, 2@.
posted by teleskiving at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2006


Googling is easy, but the laziness of the general public cannot be overestimated, nor their attention spans underestimated.

Sure, Wikipedia links can be useful. Just don't use small hyperlinks that are difficult for people to click on, and aesthetically arguable.

For example, this post:
An interesting chain of events culminated today in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet: Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali^ embarks on a career in the Netherlands' political fast lane, in her spare time writing the screenplay to the film^ that got Theo van Gogh^ killed1, 2, 3, 4, plans to leave parliament for a job in the US1, meanwhile sees the legality of her citizenship called into question by an overeager minister of Immigration^1, causing her to step down early. [more inside]
could be reformatted as follows:
An interesting chain of events culminated today in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet: Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Wikipedia) embarks on a career in the Netherlands' political fast lane, in her spare time writing the screenplay to the film that got Theo van Gogh killed (previously: one, two, three, four), plans to leave parliament for a job in the US, meanwhile sees the legality of her citizenship called into question by an overeager minister of Immigration (Wikipedia), causing her to step down early. [more inside]
Another option would be to move the Wikipedia links to the [more inside] section:
An interesting chain of events culminated today in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet: Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali embarks on a career in the Netherlands' political fast lane, in her spare time writing the screenplay to the film that got Theo van Gogh killed (previously: one, two, three, four), plans to leave parliament for a job in the US, meanwhile sees the legality of her citizenship called into question by an overeager minister of Immigration, causing her to step down early. [more inside]

Wikipedia: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Submission, Theo van Gogh, Rita Verdonk.
posted by russilwvong at 10:30 AM on July 14, 2006


Another option would be to move the Wikipedia links to the [more inside] section.

I like this idea, and propose that it be extended to all supplementary information links. There would then be a clear separation between the good stuff and the often boring stuff that explains the good stuff for those people who may want it.
posted by teleskiving at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2006


Does it really matter how the links are linked? You're probably not going to click on any of them anyway. This is all just complete and total wankery nnnnnn
posted by crunchland at 10:45 AM on July 14, 2006


Thanks for that, russilwvong. Firstly, I must admit that I went a bit overboard with the "previously on Metafilter" superscript number links. That was just kinda dumb.

I think the second option, "(Wikipedia)", simply makes the post too long.

Moving the wp links inside is a great idea in itself, but as mentioned above I fear that that will make for less compelling posts, as people will more easily scroll past if they a) don't know what the hell the poster is talking about and b) can't find out in, like, five seconds. And considering they can't determine at face value whether there are going to be some sweet, juicy wikipedia links inside (yummy!), they will, I expect, be more likely to abandon such posts in favour of a YouTube about Valerie Plame singing about cats.

BTW this is also what I tried to explain upthread, albeit slightly harsher and less eloquently. Sorry if that came out wrong, cortex.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:48 AM on July 14, 2006


Thanks for that, russilwvong.

No problem.

Moving the wp links inside is a great idea in itself, but as mentioned above I fear that that will make for less compelling posts, as people will more easily scroll past if they a) don't know what the hell the poster is talking about and b) can't find out in, like, five seconds.

In the case of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali post, I don't think that's true: the fall of the Dutch government makes for a compelling story.

For a short post on an obscure subject, I think including a clearly labelled Wikipedia link would work fine.
posted by russilwvong at 10:51 AM on July 14, 2006


Come on. Linking to encyclopedias warrants no faddish delight, even amongst the geekiest among us geeks.

No, you misapprehend me—linking to external references is not the delightful fad, and I think it's arguably a good idea. It's the deployment of this conspicuous (and clearly contentious) caret gimmick that is silly, and which can, I think, only be explained as a fad.

This is not the invention of moveable type, or of the wheel, or of the pre-slicing of bread: it does not bring anything to the table. It is merely "cute", while having no intrinsic value as a convention. People see others doing it and say, "ah, how clever! I too shall do it! Look, I'm using a caret for a reference link!"

That is what I say is faddish. References are grand—my "googling is hard" comment is not so much a dig against providing backup as it is against providing backup in such an ugly, thoughtless neo-conventionally faddish manner.

And no worries, gnfti. Good sport, playful teeth-baring and all.
posted by cortex at 10:55 AM on July 14, 2006


I really had no problem with all of these dots that litter the site; they're unobtrusive and usually confined to the odd obit thread. Then suddenly the at sign comes along; it seems to masquerade as some sort of symbol for internet elitism, yet manages to be simultaneously ugly and semantically meaningless. Now we have this caret thing, and really all I can say is that I'm not really enjoying MetaFilter's gradual descent into source code.
posted by Galvatron at 11:09 AM on July 14, 2006


I think "previouslys" should almost always go as a "more inside," especially if your post already has a lot of links or is taking up a lot of real estate. No real reason at all to keep them on the outside.

I think the second option, "(Wikipedia)", simply makes the post too long.

Moving the wp links inside is a great idea in itself, but as mentioned above I fear that that will make for less compelling posts, as people will more easily scroll past if they a) don't know what the hell the poster is talking about and b) can't find out in, like, five seconds.


Yeah, you have a point about people not clicking the links if they don't know what the post is about. (And yes, the full word "Wikipedia" is a bit long.) I think, though, that there's a decent compromise to be had if you put a little effort into it, like maybe modify russilwvong's second suggestion like so:
An interesting chain of events culminated today in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet: Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali (wiki) embarks on a career in the Netherlands' political fast lane, in her spare time writing the screenplay to the film that got Theo van Gogh killed, plans to leave parliament for a job in the US, meanwhile sees the legality of her citizenship called into question by an overeager minister of Immigration (wiki), causing her to step down early. [more inside]
Small text and short words on the wiki links, and the "previouslys" go inside. Thereby a somewhat bloated post gets trimmed a bit, and there's easily-noticeable (and clickable) reference links in case nobody knows who the hell Theo was. It could probably be pared down even further, actually (I don't know how necessary all those wiki links really are), but at least there are no irritating and usability-flouting carats in there.
posted by Gator at 11:15 AM on July 14, 2006


Uh, yeah, cortex, it's a "fad." But see, I think that's a bit harsh. I'd promote it to status of "trend," or maybe even call it a full-fledged meme.

For all your faddish fad bashing you've yet to provide a meaningful argument against the oh-so-terrible caret. Some people think it's distracting or hard to click, fine. Personally, I have no problem reading 'through' the caret (it behaves like any superscript reference) and like the fact that it encourages people to flesh out their posts and provide background information. I'd encourage people posting about persons, places and things that may not be familiar to everybody (e.g. in the various 'X died today while serving a high risk warrant..' posts) to include links to such sources. As a compromise, the caret (or any other symbol, or maybe even the letter 'z' which is really underused) could be used only when necessary.
posted by nixerman at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2006


Meaningful arguments:
1. It is hard to click.
2. It is distracting, disruptive to the flow of text.
3. It is undescriptive. Unless you know that caret means "here's a link to a reference article," it is confusing and without meaning.
4. Except in cases where the term or phrase it references is already claimed by another href, it is totally unnecessary.

Give it time, and it may become a trend. Around these parts, it is brand new and clearly rather hotly contested—it is still very much a fad. I don't think fads are evil or wrong or inherently bad, but when it comes to basic site-defining typographical practices I'm going to react with critical and conservative attention to such things. I'm the curmudgeon to your progressive, on the caret issue, and I acknowledge that.
posted by cortex at 11:32 AM on July 14, 2006


I'll make the suggestion that I made in the previous thread of a javascript button that linkifies all the words in a fpp that have associated wiki articles.
posted by empath at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2006


I think they should only be used to denote wiki links.
I am pro wikipedia.
that is all.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2006


^^^^^^^^^^
posted by knave at 11:54 AM on July 14, 2006


Why should Wikipedia get special dispensation? Just link them like everything else. Wikipedia is nice and all, but come on, stop praying to the damn thing.
posted by caddis at 12:04 PM on July 14, 2006


...and get back to praying to google and apple.
posted by crunchland at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2006


I like (wiki) a lot. I think it's an elegant solution, thanks. Thanks Gator and russilvwong for being constructive, and of course for picking apart my post, because in doing so you've drawn attention to me and oh boy, do I loves me some attention. I think I like it even better than getting in the face of some grumpy old Mefites over a punctuation mark. Seriously though, thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:25 PM on July 14, 2006


You're welcome!
posted by russilwvong at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2006


gnfti, I found a comma splice on your blog. We must now have a fistfight.
posted by cortex at 1:09 PM on July 14, 2006


Indeed! (Don't get too cocky though, darlin', I still didn't click any of your links from that post.)
posted by Gator at 1:10 PM on July 14, 2006


Who was the dipshit who first used the caret in this way on Metafilter? I hope that user can be identified and shamed.

I'm one of the folks who rabidly hate the practice.
posted by jayder at 2:43 PM on July 14, 2006


I disagree with the (wiki) usage. A wiki is not Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a wiki. It's the equivalent of saying "you should really check this out! (webpage)" If you want to say wikipedia, say it, don't use a generic term. I'm also anti-image, anti-lard, and anti-aunty. So there.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:50 PM on July 14, 2006


Yes, but what's your opinion on the panty?
posted by cortex at 3:01 PM on July 14, 2006


blue_beetle has a point. We should apply MeFi style abbreviations to Wikipedia (Wipe).
posted by team lowkey at 3:10 PM on July 14, 2006


I dislike them simply because they are more difficult to click on for people (like me) with coordination issues.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:13 PM on July 14, 2006


Well, it seems we're getting along again then. Therefore, I see no option but to blaspheme, you god damn asswipe.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Between this and <blink>, I'm starting to think you need to put together an EP called "Markup". Other possible titles:

Em-dash, En-dash
@Amphora (I'm Talking To You)
<small>
AITCH ONE
It Looked Right In Live Preview
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on July 14, 2006


Now you've made me very, very afraid about my prospective career. Thanks a bunch, cortex.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:48 PM on July 14, 2006


The worst part is that you know, deep in your heart, that this is the most commercially salable project you could undertake this year. In the distance, a soft chanting from wraiths in ghostly business suits: "Sellllll oooooout...sellllll oooouuutt..."
posted by cortex at 3:49 PM on July 14, 2006


Actually, that's the best part.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:51 PM on July 14, 2006


Posting a wikipedia link on the blue is like answering with a google search on the green.
posted by mischief at 6:22 PM on July 14, 2006


^ for a link implies that the link somehow takes you up, when everybody knows links go to the right.
posted by kindall at 7:39 PM on July 14, 2006


I bet there's a correlation between the people who like the caret and the people who complain that indie rock snobs are posting about bands they don't already know about without giving a thorough history in the FPP. I wouldn't mind thinning out that herd a little.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:55 PM on July 14, 2006


And there is some semantic baggage attached to the caret in the specific domain of sequenial-message digital conversation, which makes the co-opting of the caret for this novel purpose all the more problematic.
posted by cortex at 8:51 PM on July 14, 2006


^^^ what he said.
posted by cortex at 8:51 PM on July 14, 2006


I bet there's a correlation between the people who like the caret and the people who

... do the weird @username thing. To me, they both look dumb. They're neither fad nor new convention, merely attempts to start a fad. And their presence degrades the usually high standard of MeFi text.
posted by Rash at 9:14 PM on July 14, 2006


So goodnewsfortheinsane is still going to include Wikipedia links with a special notation in his future posts? Talk about not getting the point.
posted by mediareport at 9:33 PM on July 14, 2006


I do not think he failed to get the point so much as disagreed with a key axiom.
posted by cortex at 10:05 PM on July 14, 2006


While failing to explain where the axiom falters.
posted by mediareport at 10:15 PM on July 14, 2006


I don't like the caret, either, mostly because it's ugly, but it's also completely unnecessary.

<a href="whatever" title="(wikipedia)">, folks. Learn to love it.
posted by whir at 11:27 PM on July 14, 2006


But be advised the hover-title thing doesn't appear on all browsers.
posted by Rash at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2006


The first post incorporating the '^' that I noticed, I thought there was something broken in the post's html. Then I tried to read around the carat, and it was hard, so I said "fuck this, next post" and moved on. I don't even remember which post it was now.

Anyway, this seems to me to be a reason not to use the carat notation: it's confusing for readers who haven't been picking through MeTa religiously (a blasphemy, I know, but I imagine a somewhat common one). If I'm making a post, I won't use that format; not because I have any strange philosophical argument against it, but because I don't want people to have to work too hard to read the post.
posted by voltairemodern at 5:32 PM on July 15, 2006


I think the intentions were good when this was started, but I agree with those who say it's much more difficult to read and that it's more inclusive to deliberately make links hard-to-click on.

Because I know everyone was just waiting here, holding theri breath to discover what I though about the (non) issue.
posted by raedyn at 8:22 AM on July 17, 2006


*exhales*

About time, dammit.
posted by cortex at 8:36 AM on July 17, 2006


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