We're trying to figure out how to format inline quotes, which is something we're going to be doing a lot, being a language site. While using inline code spans has merits for readability, it breaks style with blockquotes and isn't styled quite as nice, not to mention being horrible semantically.

The obvious solution would seem to be a quote span. Is there any chance we could get such an option?

Here's an example of what these might look like by Vitaly:

Inline quote span demo

  • 3
    My opinion is that this feature would be extraneous due to the existence of a generally accepted practice, namely, italicizing such words and using quotation marks for relatively long phrases and sentences. For example, see this and this.
    – Vitaly
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:09
  • you can use this for these purposes
    – shabunc Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 3:03
  • 3
    @shabunc yeah, that's a code span, something that I already mentioned in the question.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 4:44

3 Answers 3


I fully support this idea. In general, being a LaTeX user, I am used to distinguish emph and textit and respect good semantic formatting. The exact look actually is not so critical.

The problem with quotation marks (suggested by bonomo) is, obviously, double quotations. Besides, even putting nice quotation marks is often a problem, as we see in the internet. Besides, I don't see why, while developing a new system, we should stick to methods, coming from ancient times. Going this way, we would still be using a hypen instead of a dash because people were doing so for dozens of years on their typewriters.

Furthermore, the bonomo's notice about blind people makes me see the importance of such a tag, since it would allow smarter programs to properly understand what's meant and read it out accordingly.

For now we have a mess of different styles, there are at least pre, code, the backticks, the italic, bold, blockquote. Blockquote is the closest to what we need, but is obviously not enough for all situations. So I'd vote for adding a quote tag for inline quotations.

  • There's already a <q> tag that is used just for short inline quotes. Some browsers wrap it in double quotation marks, but it's easy to override with :before and :after. All it would take to implement is some markup, an editor button and a few CSS rules.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 17:48
  • 1
    @kotekzot Tried, <q> doesn't work. Could you give an example please?
    – texnic
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 21:18
  • sure, here you go jsfiddle.net/ZH5yV
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 22:35
  • 1
    @kotekzot I didn't understand you. I thought, you meant we have this tag here. Yes, it would be lovely to have something like your example.
    – texnic
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 6:20

For ages people have utilized conventional quotes to fulfill what you think cannot be done without special color-codes and formatting.

Think of the less advanced devices than your monitor, copy/paste cases that vanishes formatting, and blind people.

  • I think it can be done better, not that it can't be done.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:32
  • It'd be a waste of vertical space to surround single words with paragraph breaks.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:35
  • kotekzok, It seems you haven't read the second part of my point about less advanced devices, copy/paste cases, blind people and indexing by the search engines who have no idea what your special formatting means. Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:36
  • You should read up a bit on semantic HTML before making such assertions.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:39
  • kotekzot, oh thank you for the link, semantic HTML is indeed something you mentioned in you question and something so unremarkably common that everybody is aware of, along with the fact each device knows how to deal with it, etc etc Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 21:48

While this may be a good idea - and I do agree with it - this is something that can't be done on one SE site alone. I'm sure it could be relevant to other language sites as well as some other ones.

Yet, this has been discussed on the main meta.SO site - for example, in this quesiton - and people suggested other ways but nobody agreed to add it.

As this probably won't get done any time soon, I suggest we just use methods described in the post I linked. In fact, I've been doing it already without having read that post first.

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