# When should I use “>” for writing?

I saw that some people use the ">" for writing in stackexchange. For example, a post will appear as follows:

I love math.

When should I use ">" for writing? Can someone help me?

Thanks.

• Well, you know what it looks like when you use it, so I guess you should use it when you want it to look like that. – Gerry Myerson Aug 1 '13 at 10:33
• I use this if I have a lot of bumph before a question, where it is useful to highlight the actual question. It just to makes it clear. That said, I used this idea on $\TeX$.SE the other day and someone edited it away! – user1729 Aug 1 '13 at 10:35

If you look in markdown editing help, you will see that it is called blockquote. The name suggests that it is used for quotations.

But I quite often use it also if I want to visually distinguish some part of the post.

I hope I do not violate some kind of SE network conventions in that way. (I do not know about any "SE network style guide" about using markdown elements. I suspect that more experienced users would have told me about it, if my use of blockquotes were incorrect.)

I have searched meta.SO a little, but I found only one question where something similar is discussed: Option to highlight the gist of the question.

• Screw the "SE network conventions". The convention is to remove "thank you" from end of posts, too. – Asaf Karagila Aug 1 '13 at 10:51
• @AsafKaragila I recently saw a third party add a "thank you" to a post! – user1729 Aug 1 '13 at 11:49
• @AsafKaragila: I think this convention is reasonable for questions (in particular after some time has passed, it is not at all conversationlike anymore then and pure clutter, often presented in an odd way). Thank you, in advance, for taking the existence of such opinions into account in the future. – quid Aug 1 '13 at 12:03
• @quid: There was a discussion related to this on meta.MSE: Editing to remove a “Thank you” in a post. – Martin Sleziak Aug 1 '13 at 12:10
• @MartinSleziak yes, I know (or at least in principle, but I think I even read that discussion). I certainly do not intend to start such editing; precisely, as I take opinions of others on this matter into account. The request was merely to take also dissenting opinions on this matter into account, even if they might be a minority-opinion here, and not to ridicule them via saying things like "Screw the..." giving this as an example of an "absurd" convention. – quid Aug 1 '13 at 12:15
• @quid I would say that the comment was not meant too seriously. And also that the intention was to provide an example of a thing where (most of) MSE community have different opinion than, say, SO. Another example might be big list questions and soft questions, which are frowned upon on most sites, but they are tolerated on MSE and MO. Anyway, point taken, of course there are users with different opinion. (And even majority opinion of community might evolve.) But I guess we digressed quite a lot from the original question. – Martin Sleziak Aug 1 '13 at 12:21
• @MartinSleziak yes you are right it is quite off-topic here. Also, my initial comment was not meant that seriously; yet, it was surprising to see a comment in an indirect sense supporting politenes, presented in such a way that it is dismissive towards others. – quid Aug 1 '13 at 12:27