Don’t be so literal on Christmas

Today we received a holiday ham sent to us through Heavenly Ham by family members in Texas. The delivery guy handed me a small card with our family members’ greeting hand-written on it by somebody at When I saw the following, I immediately recognized that the card was transcribed from a web-based form:

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Yes, it says “Chris & Critters”.

An explanation for those of you that don’t speak HTML:

In HTML, if you want to write “Bob & Nancy”, you can’t just write the “&” directly, because it has a special meaning to HTML: it begins a character entity reference. In your HTML source, you have to write it as: “Bob & Nancy”. The browser will show this as “Bob & Nancy“. Well, someone at had the tedious task of hand-writing all the Web-form-submitted holiday greetings to include in the shipments of delicious goodies. This unlucky person didn’t translate the “&” back to “&“. Which amused me immensely, because I: 1) am a web developer, and 2) am easily amused.

5 responses to “Don’t be so literal on Christmas

  1. I’ve yet to see a browser that wont correctly render “Bob & Nancy”. as long as their is a space after the ampersand, they realize you’re not donig it right, and DWIM (do what I mean). I also believe that is the right decision on the browser-programmers.

  2. that’s really funny, btw! was it an automated pen? a plotter + some software to introduce handwritting-like characteristics?

  3. I doubt it was an automated pen. I think someone just saw “&” on the form text and transcribed it without thinking.

  4. Or perhaps someone tried to paste html where html should not be? I don’t know C&C to make that call.

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