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I don't know if you're using a customized version of Markdown on this site, but it behaves really strangely in the comments. For example, here is the proper behaviour on questions and answers: emphasis inside link, emphasis outside link, [brackets around link]. See below for the corresponding behaviour in comments.

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Comments don't use Markdown. You can put very limited formatting in comments — *italic* and **bold** —, but even that is likely to break if there isn't whitespace before/after the highlighted word. (So you can't italicize part of a word in comments.)

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    I will add to this that there's a formatting sandbox over at the meta Meta, where you can try things out before actually posting them on an SE site. – RegDwigнt Dec 7 '10 at 10:20

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