"HTML" Posting Tags, was Top-posting shenanigans

From: Tom Peters <tpeters_at_mixcom.com>
Date: Fri Feb 25 10:20:17 2005

<soapbox>The rise of pseudo-HTML tags (which, more properly, would be XML
tags, yes?) has given the user community yet another new method of adding
nonverbal expression to what is essentially an expressionless communication
method. It is just another example in a succession of adaptations of
technology made by the users to make it conform to the needs of those users.

Other new developments in non-verbal cues happened very early in the
development of typed, online, communications. The most ubiquitous example
(and most commonly cited) is that of "smileys." These are pictograms
composed chiefly of punctuation characters, which are meant to evoke facial
expressions, and by extension, moods. Contextual content is easily added to
a message: "You're such a jerk!" is an insult, but "You're such a jerk ;-)"
(accompanied by a winking smiley) carries an entirely different message.

Use of pseudo-HTML tags, or what I refer to as HCML tags, allows the writer
to mark whole passages for altered interpretation. Other marking methods,
the smiley in particular, tend to modify a phrase or sentence at most,
though this is not a hard-and-fast rule.

HCML: Hyper-contextual mark-up language.

One immediate ancestor to HCML is the tag-format community-agreed-on
abbreviation: <rotfl>. HCML looks like TFCAA, through an accident of
punctuation, but doesn't appear in paired tag format. Another ancestor is
the simply community-agreed-on abbreviation. For more information on CAA,


At 07:29 AM 2/25/2005 -0800, you wrote:
>I've never seen a list of "html" tags used in messages online, and the
>only one that comes to mind is "<rant> ... </rant>." Are there others in
>common usage? It might be interesting to have a list much in the same
>vein as the lists of emotocons and commonly used abbreviations. They can
>certainly help to add context and character to a message (like Jay's
><ListOwnerMode Off> ... "html" tag.)
>Jules Richardson wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, 2005-02-25 at 00:15 -0600, Jay West wrote:
> > > I used "HTML" tags
> >
> > Shame on you!
> >
> > actually, I meant:
> >
> >
> > Shame on you!
> >
> > > [include 400 lines of original message for 'context']

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Received on Fri Feb 25 2005 - 10:20:17 GMT

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