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I'm specifically thinking of the series, where the character of Death always speaks using small caps. It may come up in other works too.

Posts seeking to accurately quote a passage of Death's dialogue, such as this one, resort to using small-caps Unicode characters, which is frowned upon.

Dᴀᴍɴ. I ᴡɪsʜ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴅɪᴅɴ'ᴛ ʟᴇᴀᴠᴇ ᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴅᴇᴀʟ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜɪs sᴏʀᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪɴɢ. Death sighed. Yᴏᴜ ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇ, ʙᴜᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇ ɪɴ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ.

Technically I'm not sure how best to do this. The relevant CSS would be font-variant: small-caps. Whether this would work best as a markdown extension, or an HTML whitelist I don't know.

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    Is using <sub> and/or <sup> a decent use case here?
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    May 31, 2022 at 8:17
  • @TheLethalCarrot possibly, but the alignment will be funny.
    – OrangeDog
    May 31, 2022 at 8:20
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    If you use a combination of the two it would be smaller but you can get them more central. It's probably the best workaround at the moment and the best option going forward as SE are somewhat unlikely to make a change here.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    May 31, 2022 at 8:22
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    The problem with using funky unicode workarounds is that they look fine on the updated versions of Chrome and Edge, but come up as garbage on older browsers, screenreaders and mobile phone browsers.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2022 at 9:47
  • @Valorum exactly, hence the feature request to do it properly
    – OrangeDog
    May 31, 2022 at 10:08
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    @OrangeDog - You're asking the wrong people in the wrong place.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2022 at 10:21
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Combing Sub and Sup leaves you with very small text, the kind I tend to use for reference tags
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2022 at 10:22

2 Answers 2

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I would simply suggest writing it with normal markdown, avoiding even HTML. It won't capture the exact appearance, but we're already sacrificing that for a lot of things, like layout and poetry. We already accept that we get paragraphs that don't indent, we can't make a line or word 20% larger, we can only do three levels of bullets (in markdown), etc. and we simply adapt to the layout and formatting that's available.

In this case I would suggest either adopting the normal all-caps appearance:

DAMN. I WISH THEY DIDN'T LEAVE ME TO DEAL WITH THIS SORT OF THING, Death sighed. YOU BELIEVE, BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING.

which is a bit more visually intrusive, but in mixed text not so much, or use bolding:

Damn. I wish they didn't leave me to deal with this sort of thing, Death sighed. You believe, but you don't believe in anything.

which I believe preserves the sense that this speech is more weighty while preserving the ease of readability of mixed-case text.

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  • <strike>this works with accessibility I think</strike> or not: ux.stackexchange.com/a/89973/18879
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jun 1, 2022 at 12:44
  • Death's speech is always in block capitals in the books. Notably, it's repeatedly mentioned by the omniscient narrator that he speaks in capital letters, so any attempt to copy the text over should include this particular quirk of formatting
    – Valorum
    Jun 5, 2022 at 15:57
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You can use <sub> and <sup> together to approximate something correctly-aligned:

DAMN. I WISH THEY DIDN'T LEAVE ME TO DEAL WITH THIS SORT OF THING. Death sighed. YOU BELIEVE, BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING.

It does come out very small though.

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  • this is also really bad for accessibility, from what I recall... specifically screenreaders, but I can't find where I read that
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jun 1, 2022 at 12:43

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