A proposal to support the <mark> tag with Markdown
The HTML5 specification introduced an interesting new tag:
<mark>. You can
<mark> to highlight parts of your text.
A first question is how it compares to tags like
found a good answer on Stack Overflow. In summary,
<em> represent pieces of text that are relevant within the context of the
page. On the other hand, the
<mark> element represents a run of text that is
highlighted due to its relevance in another context.
Upon reflection, I believe that typical surfing behavior is a good application
<mark>. Typically, people land on a page "out of context". They will
first glance over it, looking for key phrases to decide whether the content is
interesting for them. Using
<mark> to highlight key phrases may help a
reader to decide whether it is worthwhile to read the content systematically.
In Markdown, we have the option to use HTML tags like
However, as I was thinking about this, I realized that there is another
possibility. We can support lightweight markup for this tag by taking
advantage of a redundancy in Markdown. In standard Markdown, you can either
use asterisks (
*) or underscores (
_) to indicate emphasis. What we could do
instead is rendering the underscore (
_) version using
To experiment with this feature, I have implemented it in Urubu as a Markdown extension, and I have been using it on this page. Feedback welcome!