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PSA: To everyone who is , and those who are not.

When you use hashtags it can help those using a to use . Screen-readers can then find and pronounce the constituent words, rather than trying to pronounce the whole thing.

It's not essential, but it's one way we can make the Fediverse more welcoming.

words being bad and silly 

@ColinTheMathmo It can also help to differentiate between things like
#TheRapist and #Therapist

@ColinTheMathmo it never occurred to me that CamelCase was useful to screen readers, but it makes so much sense!

@kicou @ColinTheMathmo Someone pointed that out to me a while ago and I have been careful about it ever since.

It helps human readers, too. My commute to work used to take me past a very nice old building that was being renovated as condominiums. It took me almost a week to realize that oneilllbuilding.com meant "O'Neill Building" not "One Ill Building." Camel case would have helped.

@ColinTheMathmo In this same vein, using special characters or quotes for /emphasis/ is better than all CAPS. Many screen-readers will read caps as acronyms, so instead of the word “caps” it will read “C.A.P.S” which can be mentally exhausting for screenreader users if the word is long and especially for multiple words smashed together.

@ColinTheMathmo @Nyx for devs who use HTML and CSS in your work, please use the text-transform attribute to all-caps stuff, rather than through the actual text in the elements for this same reason.

@Nyx
Previously I *did* used asterisks for that, is that not the common character and I should switch to "/" ? @ColinTheMathmo

@blueplanetslittlehelper When using the asterisks are the standard method to create italics and emphasis. But for humans reading it I've always favoured the obliques on each side, because it creates the visual impression.

@Nyx

@blueplanetslittlehelper I don't know, but it would be interesting/useful to find out.

If anyone reading this uses a screen-reader, please let us know the best option for emphasis:

Surround a word with /Obliques/

or

Surround a word with *Asterisks*

Please boost for reach!

@Nyx

@ColinTheMathmo @blueplanetslittlehelper @Nyx with most modern screen readers, we can tweak the settings to where the screen reader will tell us if something is bolded or not, but this setting is usually off by default, so just use * if you would like to emphasize a word or phrase. Just one star will do

@weirdwriter Thanks for the response ... useful to know.

For sighted people, having an asterisk or oblique on both sides is an important visual marker, it's also the syntax in , so that matters to us.

I can understand that a single asterisk for emphasis might be enough for a ... does one each side cause a problem or inconvenience?

@blueplanetslittlehelper @Nyx

@ColinTheMathmo @blueplanetslittlehelper @Nyx it’s usually preferred to put one at the end and the beginning of whatever emphasis you’re going for, but, for me, I just need an opening one, without a closing one. It’s better practice to put an opening one and a closing one. Also, love #markdown. It makes HTML a whole lot easier to edit. I also use #Fountain

@weirdwriter @ColinTheMathmo @blueplanetslittlehelper this is definitely helpful to know! Thank you so much for this feedback and I will definitely adjust accordingly.

@ColinTheMathmo They're equally valid. "star" and "slash" are exactly the same length. I've seen asterisks used more often, with _this_ being the second common option, but /this/ is also OK.
@blueplanetslittlehelper @Nyx

@Mayana @ColinTheMathmo @blueplanetslittlehelper @Nyx When I use a screen reader I understand them all equally well, though I might get confused by a single asterisk instead of an opening/closing one. Was that a malformed bulleted list, emphasis, or malformed disclosure footnote?

But in the end it's always preferable to use words for emphasis over inline formatting. Far more universal.

Compare:

- It was *so big*
- it was shockingly big

Both convey the same meaning but the latter does it more effectively and without inline formatting.

@Seirdy If there is just one asterisk, I will assume it means there will be a note somewhere down the line, like so:
It was so big*
*well, for an ant, at any rate.
@Nyx @blueplanetslittlehelper @ColinTheMathmo

@Mayana @Nyx @blueplanetslittlehelper @ColinTheMathmo yep, that was exactly what I was referring to for "disclosure footnote" (i made up the term).

@Seirdy I hear what you say, but when I want to capture emphasis as I would have it in speech, the former better captures *how* I'm trying to express things. I find it *much* easier to communicate stress and emphasis by marking the words, rather than trying to use other, or extra, words.

It's hard ... language is weird.

@Mayana @Nyx @blueplanetslittlehelper

@ColinTheMathmo @Seirdy @Mayana @Nyx
I don't think that language is weird per se, but since communication comprises much more than the words we choose to say (and even they could have a different meaning, f.i. inside jokes), written conversation has to use crutches to make up for this (and the character limit here on my instance and my different native tongue don't help either).

@ColinTheMathmo so it needs to be #SusAnalBumParty, right?
But seriously, good point, I had not considered that.

@ColinTheMathmo it’s also just easier for humans to read it with camelCase, too, tbh

@ColinTheMathmo Thanks for this reminder and the subsequent one about emphasis characters (vs. all caps). When I reactivated here a few days ago, it was in a gaggle of friends whose in-house joking could easily include all caps due to sloppy practice across other media.

@harmonygritz It's easy to have in-jokes and humour among friends that are unintentionally exclusionary. Sometimes it doesn't matter, but at the very least it's worth being aware of it, and small changes can back a big difference to some people.

@ColinTheMathmo I’ve been “training” by making myself capitalize even single-word hashtags even though that’s not strictly necessary, just to get my brain used to camel case.

@ColinTheMathmo I'm not new here and didn't know that. Thanks fire the heads up.

@ColinTheMathmo Does the camel case need to start with a capital letter?

@lwriemen I expect not, but I have no direct personal experience of using a screen reader so I don't know for sure.

Logic tells me that the thing that matters is finding the separation between words.

@ColinTheMathmo That's reason enough of course, but it's also just generally more legible

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