How do I post a unicode shrug?

If I post a unicode ‘shrug’ in a discourse message, I get this: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

It should look like this:

So the black slash is getting deleted. Fine. I’ll just double backslash that character.

Except then it’s: ¯\(ツ)/¯ – the underscores were removed.

What’s the right way?


I added a 2nd extra backslash next to the 1st extra backslash, and then another backslash before the 2nd underscore.


Three leading backslashes, no other mods


Hmm, wait… I added a backslash in front of the 2nd underscore, but you didn’t need to.

So why do all the underscores disappear if you do two backslashes?

I sure don’t know.

¯\ (ツ)

@discobot ¯\ (ツ)

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.

Surrounding a string with underscores turns it into italics (just like the asterisk). I’m pretty sure the backslash is acting as an escape character. Double backslash is escaping the escape character, so you get a single backslash. Because you have done that, the underscore is no longer escaped, so the pair of them italicize the string between them and disappear. @needscofffee’s solution escaped one of the underscores, so they were no longer paired as formatting tokens.

That’s just an educated guess as I don’t have access to the code, but that’s a pretty standard method of escaping behavior.

This makes sense to me. The ‘face’ part is italicized in the ‘two slash’ version:


vs ‘three slash’


Huh, I never knew that!


Man or woman?



Or code block.


I found out that these are called kaomoji.

That doesn’t display for me (Windows, Chromium). I get an empty square.

That’s interesting. I thought Discourse was doing its own emoji replacement images. But apparently it also can’t handle that particular character.

Still, I don’t have any trouble seeing it in Chrome on Windows 10, and I have no special settings or fonts for emoji on this computer. (Unlike the other emoji in this thread) It appears to be in Windows’s standard emoji font “Segoe UI Emoji.” It has the characteristic thick outlines and flat colors.

‘Three slash’ works here because the first slash is escaping the second slash (so show a single slash) and the third slash is escaping the first underline (so show the underline and we no longer have a pair, so don’t italicize).

Now that I play around a bit, it appears to be pretty standard Markdown formatting used here (I think I noticed this a while back while playing with tables, but had since forgotten). That’s pretty cool since I know most of the standard commands. So, some samples to play with:

# Title


## Title


###### Title


Numbered Lists:
1. First
2. Second
3. Hi Opal!

  1. First
  2. Second
  3. Hi Opal!

Bulleted List:
* First
* Second

or + or - instead of asterisk

  • First
  • Second

Tables (my favorite):
Col 1|Col 2|Col 3

Col 1 Col 2 Col 3
123 456 789
54321 1234567890 987

See the Markdown Tables Generator.

It makes it easy, and also has column alignment:

Table Heading 1 Heading 2
Row1 Center aligned Right aligned
Row2 xxx 123.45
Row3 abcdef 6,789.01

You can also save and load tables locally, and import a csv file.

wow nice

* Category
* Subcategory - put two spaces in front of *
* Subsubcategory - put four spaces in front of *

  • Category
    • Subcategory
      • Subsubcategory

Fancier lists:

  1. This is a paragraph belonging to list element labeled 1. Like all number lists, I simply started with the number, a period, then a space and it automatically handled the indentation. Wrapping should be handled automatically, so let’s ramble on a bit. It certainly seems to be working properly.

    This is the second paragraph belonging to list element 1. I hit enter twice for the new line and then entered three spaces and it automatically shifts over.

  2. This is list element labeled 2. just to show how this all works. Like the first list item, I simply typed a 2 then a period, then a space.

Pretty useless on a message board, but checkboxes are easy:

[] Pick me!
[] No me!

Pick me!
No me!

Perhaps you would like a horizontal line to break up sections of your post:

--- or three asterisks or many other combinations, but I find the dashes easier to remember

That’s probably enough Markdown for now. Next we’ll start bugging @Ed_Zotti to give us LaTeX-like formatting abilities via the Discourse Math plugin and get really crazy with our posts. :1234: