The underlying thesis of markdown is that it looks acceptable in plain text. As shown below, your text quoted here is now in markdown format. Your use of asterisk and underscore both transform to _italic_ text. If you want **bold** text then use double asterisk or double underline, as **here** and __here__. The forward slash is not a recognised formatting character in markdown. Due to the markdown assumption that without annotation, adjacent lines can be merged into one paragraph, your joke is becomes a series of in-line sentences without poetic formatting. Two adjacent newlines separate paragraphs by presenting a blank line between paragraphs. Not sure what you mean by "Are newlines newlines in plain text" since a newline, chr(10), is valid plain text. If you are on MS-Windows then the carriage return, chr(13), will be ignored in the translation to HTML. The linked text "Markup style" above the compose/reply textarea provides a summary of Fossil's two markup definitions. Your previous post is copied verbatim below: OK, I'm going to belabor this with one additional post. This one. The first message I sent was with "markdown" as the markup style. This message is being sent with "plain text" as the markup style. Being thick, and content with plain ASCII, I now post *this* and _this_ and /this/ to see how it will appear in the forum and also in my email client, Thunderbird. Here's another joke: Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7, 8, 9, and 10. Feel free to share this joke will all your eight-year-old friends. Are newlines newlines in plain text?