I am posting this question because I have received some mixed reactions to such edits. Partly because the tag wiki excerpt review UI only shows markdown diff but not rendered outputs, where the fact that italicization or any markdown is not working in tag wikis could have been visible.

Nevertheless, the editor for tag wiki excerpts tells that it is not a bug, but simply excerpts can only be written in plain text:

plain text only, no Markdown formatting

enter image description here

It have started when I have noticed on that the italicization is not working and asterisks (*) are shown instead. So I went ahead and removed them in this edit suggestion. Since then as it got approved I have edited a couple of more tags containing asterisks.

Some of these following edits received reject votes[1] (but got approved overall) with concerns about botanical names should be italicized and removing the "formatting" is not desirable.

I want to make that clear that I agree with that the botanical names should be italicized. I just feel some confusion that I would like to address with this post.

To summarize:

  • Formatting in general is not possible in tag wiki excerpts. So italicization is not possible.

  • Currently there are tags where the botanical names are surrounded by asterisks. E.g.: or .

    enter image description here

I think the excerpts are easier to read without the asterisks so we should continue to remove them whenever we see a tag with them.

If you would prefer replacement characters to be used for example / instead of simply removing the asterisks, please suggest.

1: I am not upset or anything like that with the reject votes.

  • They provide very useful information & are very understandable within the context, and removing them would remove information which can be very helpful to Readers; Thank you :)
    – M H
    Jan 14, 2021 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


As you say, these asterisks and similar markdown codes are not handled in tag wiki excerpts. This is fine, there is no reason for them to be. Their existence in a tag wiki excerpt clouds rather than clears the meaning.

On another site, I have removed these asterisks from dozens of tag wikis. They had been added by an over-zealous editor who clearly didn't realise their redundancy.

I would propose removing all such asterisks. Although not necessarily suggesting them all in one go.

  • 2
    The problem is not that they are redundant, but that SE can't handle them. The international standard orthography for scientific species names is italic text.
    – alephzero
    Jan 7, 2021 at 20:23
  • 1
    But my point is that there is no point in their existence. Use of emphasized text in unnecessary in tag wikis.
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 10, 2021 at 11:47
  • 1
    The asterisks provide very useful information for Readers, the meaning of the asterisks is very understandable within the context, and removing them would remove information which can be very helpful to Readers. Thank you
    – M H
    Jan 25, 2021 at 10:37

I review all edits every morning, bring 'em on!


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