BIGGAR! April 9, 2012 4:06 AM   Subscribe

BIGGARFilter: Could we please use less subscript?

I have noticed a couple of excellent comments in the past few days, all written in subscript, for no apparent reason. I thought sub was used as a sort of
posted by marienbad to MetaFilter-Related at 4:06 AM (81 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

As a crotchety old man with weakening eyes, I can get behind this pony.

Is small as bad as blink? I say yes.

That said, I'm guessing the mods won't want to enforce an anti-small text technical solution, so here's a piece of advice:

If your browser supports magnification, use it. Chrome does, as does Explorer.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:15 AM on April 9, 2012


Hold down the Ctrl key, spin the mouse wheel.

The point of posting stuff small is to make it clear that this is a tangential comment that, if you're not willing to exert even the absolutely minimal effort involved in making it big enough to read, is unlikely to be worth your while bothering with.

I have no beef with small comments, and I say this as somebody frequently irritated by user interfaces apparently developed by people who don't need reading glasses.
posted by flabdablet at 4:21 AM on April 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


Marienbad, I use it as a kind of 'aside' after I've commented in full-text-size. It hadn't occurred to me that some people may find it hard to read.

Consider me reformed. I will no longer use it.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:36 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I noticed a couple recently, too... But I was actually thinking that it seems to occur a lot less often than it once did. Maybe that's just my perception though.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:36 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that I've had a couple of minutes to think about it, I'm guilty of trying to apply subscript in the middle of a comment and then it doesn't 'undo' at the end, so the rest of the comment is also subscripted (if that's even a word). I think there may be a few comments where I've come in afterwards, swearing at the goddamned bloody tiny letters which are supposed to be normal-sized.

But knowing that it is difficult for people to read will make me reconsider when I use it (which will be, oh, never, now that I know it's difficult for people to read).
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:47 AM on April 9, 2012


Oh. Did that sound snarky? It wasn't meant that way.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:49 AM on April 9, 2012


Do you mean subscript or small? In either case, in Firefox at least, you can set a "minimum font size" in the advanced font settings (Firefox menu -> Options -> Content -> Under "Fonts & Colors, hit the Advanced button").
posted by Plutor at 4:51 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am also a bit shit at seeing things, and I've got quite good at Ctrl-+ (on windows), and Cmd-+ (on macs).
posted by pompomtom at 4:52 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about making this post for weeks now and have chickened out. Small posting is fine on my laptop and desktop but on my phone (which is only barely smart) it is too small to see.

On one hand, I see the benefit of making some sentences small but on the other hand I think if you really want to say something, stand behind it, make it big! Or normal sized.

But whatever tag makes the words extra small needs to die.
posted by hydrobatidae at 5:34 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I use subscript only when it's appropriate to do so, usually in mathematical/scientific contexts, e.g., H2O, and will continue to do so.

But if this complaint is actually about small, I have a tendency to do that for tangential comments, and I'll try to be more mindful about it in the future. Per some of the advice about overuse of parenthetical comments here, I'll try to remember that if I'm putting something in small text, it probably doesn't need to be there at all, and if it does, it shouldn't be in small text.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:41 AM on April 9, 2012


How small can a pony be before it is no longer a pony at all?

I am agnostic on this; I very occasionally use the small tag, generally for humor, and I can generally read it OK, except on my phone, where I tend to ignore any ensmalled text out of sheer laziness.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:57 AM on April 9, 2012


New York is big, but this is Biggar.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:05 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the not-mobile Safari, you can double-tap (not click) a magic mouse or trackpad to zoom in on one section, just like the mobile version.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:27 AM on April 9, 2012


HANG ON I THINK I FOUND A COMPROMISE
posted by griphus at 6:28 AM on April 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


That's the text equivalent of a stage whisper.
posted by arcticseal at 6:39 AM on April 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


I get that it's an aside or a tangential comment, but I just don't think I should have to add keystrokes toread someone's comments. I usually skip anything in small text and assume that it's not essential. I have some regrets about that because I know of at least one superb comment that was paragraphs and paragraphs of small text--I think that one ended up sidebarred. My laziness has taken over, though, so unless your small text gets sidebarred, I'm not reading it.
posted by gladly at 6:46 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I use it sometimes as a stylistic device to communicate sarcasm, but I still think that typing entire discussions in them is far more distracting an annoying than just typing it full size and letting me scroll past it. How do I even know to scroll past something I can't read easily?
posted by codacorolla at 6:50 AM on April 9, 2012


Subscript adds nuance to comments so I think it should stay.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:52 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Small is ok for me, but very small, which I've seen a few times, makes me want to cry.
posted by thylacinthine at 6:54 AM on April 9, 2012


What? You can have my small script pony when you pry it from my cold, dead paws.

Ride the pony: it's fun! Whee!

posted by Wolfster at 6:59 AM on April 9, 2012


Big gar
posted by Burhanistan at 7:15 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, this is Biggar, but this is Biggar still.

(aw crap, why does <small> work, but <big> doesn't?)
posted by scruss at 7:25 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


People need to more or less quit doing that "I am posting this as a teeny aside in my AskMe response because what I have to say is not an answer to the question but I'm hoping the mods overlook it or do not have their reading glasses on" thing and yeah I feel like I've been seeing more of it elsewhere, but only just recently. But yeah as an occasional thing, sure, if it becomes your thing, less great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:25 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like it better than the recent trend of using block quotes for every. single. quote. in your ten paragraph long comment. The indenting of the quotes makes it that much longer and I don't think it adds much to readability.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:36 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


But...
posted by Splunge at 7:39 AM on April 9, 2012


remember to meet your content on the bridge of sighs at midnight
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Folks, I know you like to fuck around and play grabass a lot, but maybe in a thread where the OP is asking people to use smalltext less you could not go all out with your poking sticks and use it more, maybe?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 AM on April 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


Is there is a 1:1 correlation between the sharpness of your "poking stick" and the smallness of your text?
posted by HuronBob at 8:05 AM on April 9, 2012


Small font size is something you can change in your user preferences, so you could make it the same size as the regular text, or inflate both sizes or whatever. Doesn't help with multiple small tags so much, but there is something you can do about it.
posted by LionIndex at 8:23 AM on April 9, 2012


I know you like to fuck around and play grabass a lot

*nods excitedly*
posted by Greg Nog at 8:26 AM on April 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


POKING STICK
posted by elizardbits at 8:29 AM on April 9, 2012


We could always use another method to indicate asides.

/yes, that one.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:32 AM on April 9, 2012


I was coming in to suggest that you adjust your profile preferences, too, OP.

I went from a default size 11 to a default 14 font, with small print showing up as 10, I think. Anyway, it helped me a lot, and you don't have to keep adjusting once you've set it up.
posted by misha at 8:38 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


HANG ON I THINK I FOUND A COMPROMISE
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM on April 9

Has griphus lost weight? Where did he get that horse? And why is he waving that scythe around?
posted by maudlin at 8:54 AM on April 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


In my Firefox's Edit/Preferences/Content/Fonts & Colors/Advanced, I have a setting "Minimum font size". Yours might be in a slightly different place, but you should have a similar setting, no matter what platform/browser you use. (I hope I'm not wrong about this; if I am, switch to Firefox or complain to your vendor.)

One of the beautiful things about metafilter is that it's made up of text. This means that if you have trouble reading any of it, for any reason, you can configure your device to render it more appropriately for you. A website made up of text is available to everyone, up to and including those with no vision.

In the old days when kids were still allowed on my lawn, a prolific poster in a newsgroup I frequented used web-tv. He was old and insisted that he could best read posts if he and everyone else posted in all caps. I'm not making this up. Now I don't know anything about web-tv, but I do know that asking everyone to post in a way that made it easy for him to read was not the best way to go about fixing his problem.

The same applies to this problem.
posted by fritley at 9:04 AM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought we all agreed not to use the term "OP" any more ....
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:08 AM on April 9, 2012


No. I won't be avoiding small text where it is appropriate. If you don't want to press a button and make it bigger, that's highly unlikely to hurt you. I have never said anything on Metafilter that anyone needed to know. Some would argue I've never posted anything anyone wanted to know either, so assume they're right and see it as me doing you a favour.
posted by howfar at 9:14 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]



I thought we all agreed not to use the term "OP" any more ....


We can't even agree on not pulling the toes off of kittens, how do you expect "we all" to agree on ANYTHING...
posted by HuronBob at 9:29 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


marienbad: “I have noticed a couple of excellent comments in the past few days, all written in subscript, for no apparent reason.”

Really? Somehow I doubt that whole comments were wrapped in the <sub> tag, which looks like this and is obviously off the line. That would be weird, and I have a feeling it might throw off alignment. I'm guessing you meant whole comments were written using the <small> tag, which looks like this and preserves alignment? That would make a lot more sense.

Either way, this seems to make sense as a pony request:

There are settings in the Preferences for both "Body font size" and "Smaller font size." I had to fool around with the "Smaller font size" before I realized that this only affects the text in the footer of each comment, that is "posted by... etc." Would it be possible to make the "Smaller font size" also control the size of text on the page that appears inside the <small> tag? That seems intuitive, and it would help a huge number of people who I think really don't like being presented with tiny, tiny text. If that doesn't seem to make sense, maybe could we have a small-text size setting option in the Preferences page?

I'm not sure how possible that would be, but this seems to be something that a lot of people would happily use, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 9:29 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]



  ####   #    #  ######   #   #          #####    ####   #    #  ######
 #    #  #   #   #         # #           #    #  #    #  #   #   #
 #    #  ####    #####      #    #####   #    #  #    #  ####    #####
 #    #  #  #    #          #            #    #  #    #  #  #    #
 #    #  #   #   #          #            #    #  #    #  #   #   #
  ####   #    #  ######     #            #####    ####   #    #  ######
posted by Zed at 9:52 AM on April 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


I like small text at times for effect. I don't like it overdone, though. The question on these things always seems to be whether or not a large group of people can be trusted to not abuse something that otherwise is kinda cool. Unfortunately, the answer tends to be no.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:56 AM on April 9, 2012


Would it be possible to make the "Smaller font size" also control the size of text on the page that appears inside the <small> tag?

I think the way we have styling working, the "Body font size" actually does this in the intuitive sense that small tags are a proportional reduction of the body font size itself; that is, if you increase the body font size, you're increasing in proportion the size of the body font when wrapped in small tags as well.

That said, there's a lot of individual variation from browser to browser and across different platforms (desktop vs. mobile), so to some extent this is a thing that is only really thoroughly solvable at a local level. The minimum font size settings some browsers have is probably the best immediate solution to this stuff; there are almost certainly existing Greasemonkey or Stylish type solutions that would give a user better control over the specifics as well, though I don't use 'em so I can't make any specific recommendations there.

And yeah, as a general site policy thing we don't really have any "no using small tags" directive in the offing but it's good for folks to be sensible about only using it for sparing effect; if you're using it a lot it's maybe something to stop and reconsider.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on April 9, 2012


Hol-eeee CRAP! I did NOT know about the Ctr+- thing! I learned something today! I learned something today!
posted by Sassyfras at 10:11 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


And yeah, as a general site policy thing we don't really have any "no using small tags" directive in the offing

Would it be possible to turn small tags off as a user preference? Also, Zalgo?

That way folks could use it if they want, but without harming the old, infirm, and tech-unsavvy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:21 AM on April 9, 2012


Hey all, Just finished some decorating, and boy am i worn out.

Just wanted to say: it is not that I am totally against it, it is ok when used as an aside, I am not asking for it to never be used.

Also, I know about ctrl plus/minus but really, for stuff that is meant to be read, readability is a pretty much the main criterion.

This is what I mean: here are a couple of recent comments that were excellent but very small:

Passover thread comment.

In years of scarcity the poor labour more, and really live better thread comment.
posted by marienbad at 10:29 AM on April 9, 2012


Yeah, I wish people would give up on the subscript. It's like, really? You're asking a lot of me here, just to read your snarky little aside that you didn't even think was worth a full-height font. Most of the time I skip the subscripted text, because if they didn't think it was worth my time, it probably isn't.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:31 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just here because it's been a while since I've had my ass grabbed. Looking for it.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:47 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


subscript has a specific meaning: a number or symbol that is smaller and below the baseline (unless it is something like the denominator in a fraction, which does not descend below the baseline). It does not mean "small". The html tags for subscript and small are not even the same.

I assume everyone here is talking about small font sizes, because subscript makes certain things more legible.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:52 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


anotherpanacea: Would it be possible to turn small tags off as a user preference? Also, Zalgo?

I like small text, though sparingly. And I think the mods have said "flag Zalgo, & we'll delete it."

For long quotes, italics are harder to read; I'd prefer blockquotes, but then I'd also prefer shorter quotes anyway.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:11 AM on April 9, 2012


"That said, there's a lot of individual variation from browser to browser and across different platforms (desktop vs. mobile), so to some extent this is a thing that is only really thoroughly solvable at a local level."

I don't see how this is true. You control what tags are available to the user and how those tags are interpreted into what is sent to the browser. And that could be variable according to user settings, as are other text attributes now. Am I missing something?

I think that you're just passing-through these tags, but that doesn't really change anything because a) you don't have to be doing this; and b) you can redefine classes in the CSS, anyway.

"subscript has a specific meaning: a number or symbol that is smaller and below the baseline (unless it is something like the denominator in a fraction, which does not descend below the baseline). It does not mean "small". The html tags for subscript and small are not even the same."

Right. I'm not a typography nut and so not as sensitive to these things as many people are, but this equivocation of subscript and small in this thread is driving me crazy. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. Is this some sort of colloquial usage of which I'm not aware? Or just simple misunderstanding of terminology?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:28 AM on April 9, 2012


I don't see how this is true.

Then you don't spend enough time looking at the same content in different browsing environments. Welcome to the crazy fucking world of browsers: even today, they're inconsistent in how they implement this shit, at both the level of how the browser's display engine interprets the parts of the standards that are at all ambiguous and at the level of how default settings within the browser's preferences further alter that. Introduce not just browser-developer variation but major platform variation (Safari on an iPhone is not Safari on the desktop in a lot of senses, and a wee phone screen is not a 24" widescreen) and you get all kinds of little details that vary.

This is not to say it should be true, but it well fucking is. We have done things like tweaked the default styling of certain tags for mobile where the vanilla behavior is terrible, but even that is fraught and non-trivial to optimize. The actual web is not a utopia.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:42 AM on April 9, 2012


The 'small' tag isn't really what I wanted when I have used it, but html doesn't have a 'sotto_voce' tag. The standards designers, what were they thinking?
posted by jfuller at 11:49 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Then you don't spend enough time looking at the same content in different browsing environments."

No, that's not it. You don't have to be merely passing-through the tags you allow; your regex that filters tags in submissions could just as easily replace the small tag with a custom class, which then could vary by user.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:12 PM on April 9, 2012


could just as easily replace the small tag with a custom class, which then could vary by user.

That way lies madness. Any sort of tag munging other than the "allow/disallow" stuff we already do is a very non-trivial thing that we're pretty much opposed to. There's a short list of tags we allow and we want them to operate more or less as they're supposed to and not do anything unexpected, for the most part. That way if people need to change things on their end they're working with as-standard-as-we-can-make it [again, with some exceptions] output.

So to quote cortex from other days: it's not a can't thing, it's a won't thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:19 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't have to be merely passing-through the tags

Why would you want small text rendered differently on metafilter, as chosen by a small-text metafilter-specific preference, than on every other site?

Why would you have your browser configured to render any text in a way that you can't read?

This is very simply a browser issue. To expect metafilter to fix it for you (or to expect every metafilter user to post in a way that fixes it for you) is utter madness.
posted by fritley at 1:28 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: “That way lies madness. Any sort of tag munging other than the ‘allow/disallow’ stuff we already do is a very non-trivial thing that we're pretty much opposed to.”

That actually makes a lot of sense to me. I think I just saw that "smaller font size" setting and really wanted it to be something it isn't; but I see what you mean, and it does seem like it'd be quite a big leap from allowing users to resize static comment footers from their preferences to figuring out how to allow users to resize dynamic content wrapped in tags inside comments.

It was worth asking anyway, I guess. Thank you for the explanation.
posted by koeselitz at 1:39 PM on April 9, 2012


"Why would you want small text rendered differently on metafilter, as chosen by a small-text metafilter-specific preference, than on every other site?"

Jessamyn's answer was more convincing. I mean, actually (almost) convincing; I'm not being snarky.

But what I disagree with in her response and disagree even more with yours is that I personally think it's insane to be including any actual markup in submitted content. In 99% of cases, the end-user who is using one of these tags doesn't care if their submitted markup is actually, literally, HTML. Most don't even understand that it's HTML. All they care about is that if they mark something as being bolded, it's bolded. Small means small. They want people who read their posts and comments to see things as being bold or italic or small or links as they intended. They don't intend that those people get the actual HTML tags that they have specified.

End-user control of presentation should be abstracted away from the server/browser control of presentation via HTML.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:47 PM on April 9, 2012


I mean, actually (almost) convincing; I'm not being snarky.

You may need to adjust your snark meter then. You seem to have a different vision for how the site should work and that's fine, but we're not trying to convince you, we're explaining why the site works the way it does and the decision-making process we've made.

Many of our users do actually care about HTML and a lot of them type it themselves in the comment box for reasons that only they can know. Lots of them goof with the tags or try to test the way we scrub HTML. I'm not arguing that a majority of the users here probably don't care about HTML, I'm sure that's true. However, realistically many of them do, a not insignificant number. We want our output to be as standard as possible across as many browsers as possible, mobile and not. Ancient and current. And for us that means no custom tags.

If we were building the site from the ground up today we might do things differently, but changing over the way that posts and comments are created/interpreted/posted isn't on the table at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:56 PM on April 9, 2012


Note: But I'm aware that MetaFilter has a complicated and long development history. I don't really care personally that much about this and don't intend to be argumentative. For what it's worth, I attempted and intended more a good-faith interrogative rather than declarative stance in my initial comment and was a bit put-off by cortex's slightly patronizing response, which then colored mine which followed his.

It does seem odd to me, though, that an oft-mentioned complaint about the difficulty many users have reading small text isn't seen as something for which user-specific styling is ideal as a solution — while, at the same time, we have user-specific styling of attributes that far fewer users care about — and only because small text happens to be specified by the end-user via a passed-through tag.

Anyway, peace. It's all good.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:00 PM on April 9, 2012


...a lot of them type it themselves in the comment box for reasons that only they can know.

[DESIGNED IN NOTEPAD]
[NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR 4.5 COMPATIBLE]
[IE USERS STAY OUT]
[Copyright xGoldenEye666x © 1996]
posted by griphus at 2:08 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Many of our users do actually care about HTML and a lot of them type it themselves in the comment box for reasons that only they can know."

Incidentally, that's what I do. But I'm so anachronistic, I don't even know how to do anything other than write webpages by hand in plain text, just as griphus jokes about. Which is why any pages I produce look like they're from the nineties. (I have a deeply-ingrained mistrust of the source produced by modern editors which I recognize is partly an irrational result of my being an old fart.)

I also use "preview"; which, according to cortext, only a tiny portion of mefites utilize.

However, even though I hand-write the markup and, by habit, (and against best practices) use <i> instead of <em>, I totally don't care that this specific markup is preserved. All I care about is the presentation I'm specifying. If you changed all my specified italics to emphasis, I wouldn't mind, except in the very rare cases (if they even exist) in which there was a discussion about italics and I used that tag specifically for that context.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2012


oneirodynia: "subscript has a specific meaning: a number or symbol that is smaller and below the baseline (unless it is something like the denominator in a fraction, which does not descend below the baseline). It does not mean "small". The html tags for subscript and small are not even the same."

As something of a purist, I agree with you & the HTML specs 98%. However, it falls down a bit with line spacing - <small> keeps the line height the same as the default, while <sup> & <sub> scales the line height appropriately.

quick test of <small>
how's the line spacing?
vs
<sup> - how's
the line spacing here?


Which seems a bit arse-about to me, but that's how it is. Hence, semantically incorrect as it may be, around here I personally prefer to use <sup> or <sub> over <small> for tangential but informative asides.
posted by Pinback at 2:57 PM on April 9, 2012


taz: "I noticed a couple recently, too... But I was actually thinking that it seems to occur a lot less often than it once did. Maybe that's just my perception though."

That's my impression , too. One of the linked examples was using small text for a quote, which is quite annoying as it's part of the main body of the comment and not the 'usual' style of using small text for aside comments, so hardly a good example of how it's used commonly. I don't see that it's either common enough or annoying enough (old fart struggling to see tiny text here) to need a solution apart from one users implement as they see the need (ie magnifying the text as needed).
posted by dg at 3:46 PM on April 9, 2012


Misled!
Filterians arrived from a distant Site, plagued also, with issues of sight, hearing tell of a BIGGARFilter; and yet, with hopes of this becoming Biggar-filter, once and for all, costumes perfectly fitted and designed with care...
It turned out that what was meant was really about size, and not about Biggar-Filter.

As a sometimes >small< user, I will avoid using it gratuitously (your sup and small tests are both rendering with the same line spacing here Pinback [I had thought they rendered differently too]).
posted by infinite intimation at 4:21 PM on April 9, 2012


jessamyn: "Folks, I know you like to fuck around and play grabass a lot, but maybe in a thread where the OP is asking people to use smalltext less you could not go all out with your poking sticks and use it more, maybe?"

Sorry about that Jess. it was stupid.
posted by Splunge at 4:31 PM on April 9, 2012


Whenever I see text that is too small, I just "Ctrl +" until it's big enough.

Isn't that easier to do than try to change the formatting practices of the entire site membership?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:47 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


(aw crap, why does <small> work, but <big> doesn't?)
Not since September 15, 2005 when mathowie dodoed it.
posted by unliteral at 5:48 PM on April 9, 2012


Hold down the Ctrl key, spin the mouse wheel.
thank you
posted by hortense at 6:40 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a feature, not a bug. I use it as a very minor barrier to reading my bad joke or tangential thought so that someone would have to be slightly more motivated than is required to just read something normally to have my pointlessness inflicted upon them and that's how I usually read it when others do it.
posted by cmoj at 7:00 PM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can have my expressive nuance when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.
posted by Trurl at 7:18 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are situations where small text is perfectly appropriate.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:37 PM on April 9, 2012


what about pretending the words are strung together like a train on tracks?

OºOº ghost cart!!

posted by not_on_display at 7:40 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: fuck around and play grabass
posted by grouse at 8:17 PM on April 9, 2012


infinite intimation: "your sup and small tests are both rendering with the same line spacing here Pinback [I had thought they rendered differently too]"

Interesting… While that sort of detail has always been browser-dependent, I thought that most modern browsers acted the same. Looks like it's just the Mozilla-based browsers that render <sup> & <sub> with the reduced line height.

Of course, the most-correct (least-incorrect?) way would be to render line height based on the size of the largest font on the line. But that least to all sorts of potential issues with reflow etc.
posted by Pinback at 8:35 PM on April 9, 2012


Assuming (like others) that you're referring to "small" rather than"sub", you may want to check out the following Greasemonkey script I wrote a while back:

Embiggen the Smallest Metafilter

If you have this script installed, and you mouse over small text (on Metafilter), the script will embiggen the text.
posted by Flunkie at 9:59 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the all-small comments might have been mine, but I generally try to use it for special occasions, if I have a lot of text to put in and would like to try to not take up a lot of thread real estate, or if something is really minor and extraneous. (I also use it sometimes to EMULATE SMALL CAPS, which I think makes me sound like Death.) I tend not to use <sub> or <sup> generally, which on my screen add up to about two levels of <small>, unless there's a really special (that is to say, probably obnoxious) effect I'm going for.

Unfortunately <big> went away shortly before I became a member. (I say unfortunately, some others might disagree....)
posted by JHarris at 10:41 PM on April 9, 2012


Sorry. Normally I would use faux HTML for the Jedi mind control voice but Metafilter doesn't display HTML tags, even if they aren't real HTML tags.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:13 PM on April 9, 2012


unliteral: "(aw crap, why does <small> work, but <big> doesn't?)
Not since September 15, 2005 when mathowie dodoed it.
"

This is why we can't have nice BIG things.
posted by arcticseal at 11:13 PM on April 9, 2012


 OH BUT WE CAN HAVE BIG THINGS. AT LEAST SLIGHTLY WIDE.
posted by dmd at 6:03 AM on April 10, 2012


𝔞𝔩𝔰𝔬 𝔗ℌℑ𝔖 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕋ℍ𝕀𝕊
posted by dmd at 6:06 AM on April 10, 2012


<jedi mind control>Kid Charlemagne, these are not the html entities you are looking for. move along.</jedi mind control>
posted by dmd at 6:15 AM on April 10, 2012


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