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Faux Computer Code
aka: Faux HTML Tags

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<caption>In this case, "HTML" stands for "Head To My Legs".</caption>

OP: Has anyone noticed that Twitter-style hashtags have replaced HTML-style coding as meta-commentary on the Internet?
Person responding: </era>
— Failbooking


On blogs and Internet discussion forums, when participants use the SGML-style tags popularized by HTML (or sometimes BB Code-style tags) to accentuate their messages.

For example <sarcasm>...</sarcasm>, <rant>...</rant>, and <cough>...</cough>.

Sometimes these tags can include attributes such as <flame tone="angry">...</flame>.

Oftentimes the opening tag will be omitted and only the closing tag will be there, as a kind of self-conscious lampshade hung on the preceding flame/rant/etc. It is also used to show that a sarcastic rant mocking the opposite side of some debate is just that. Everyone KNOWS that first person is good wiki syntax, after all. </thattroper>

Can also be used in image macros. Note that not all edited photos are image macros: Some humorous pictures are seen on the 'Net, such as a man with "</head> <body>" tatooed on his neck or a tombstone with "</life>".


Anti-war candidate Darcy Burner wore a T-shirt with </WAR> on it in several photos.

</unsubscribe> is occasionally used on Usenet to indicate that one is unsubscribing from a thread. However, the proper use should be either </subscribe> (to indicate that the subscription is ending) or <unsubscribe /> (XML empty tag to indicate an unsubscription). It probably means, though, that the person has just finished the process of unsubscribing. </justifyingedit>

This used to be done with faux C preprocessor directives, e.g.:

#ifdef FLAME
Or, on occasion, by (t)csh environment variables:
but that usage has largely been supplanted by more-approachable HTML.

The successor phenomena is #HashtagForLaughs



  • In the T.V show, MythBusters, Adam sometimes where's a T-shirt that says "<Mythbuster>Am I missing an eyebrow?</Mythbuster>".
  • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Dendy changes the color of her headband from #0090FF (a slightly greenish blue) to K.O.'s #FF0000 (red).
  • How Ideasman defeats Hellvetica in Particle Fiction.
  • Seen in the blog of B to the F: The Novelization of the Feature Film, When Ryan describes the brief scuffle between Marty and Biff in Lou's Cafe after George's attempt to ask Lorraine out.
  • In Scorpion, The show's title is stylized as </scorpion> To a programmer, that would read as "End Scorpion".
  • In one The Hero of Three Faces strip, the Twelfth Doctor responds to being told that a space station crew is having food transmatted into their bodies for efficiency with "Oh, well. Sarcasm tag, that stuff never goes wrong, close sarcasm tag."
  • Loot Box Quest: After getting a script to write code, the game shows "while(true) { doJob; } //This was way easier than I thought".
  • FoxTrot: This strip has Jason use some kind of made-up language that nevertheless sounds Java-like to automate his homework assignment. It features lines like "IF endOfPage(book, page, word)" and "get {pencil)".


Alternative Title(s): Faux HTML Tags


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