David Pogue uses Markdown

Well, sort of.

I don’t read Pogue regularly, but I couldn’t help following the link in this tweet from Allen MacKenzie, because a good Microsoft bashing is irresistible.

MS Office 2011 apparently sucks. I'm having trouble feigning surprise. http://j.mp/9C0j8v

It led to Pogue’s most recent post, in which he lays into various deficiencies in Redmond’s latest Mac version of Office—especially Word and Outlook. As I read his description of how he uses Word, I wondered he bothers with it at all.

I use Word for writing — not page layout, Web-page design, or photo editing, so those improvements mean nothing to me…

In Word, I do all my writing in Draft view — a scrolling, endless page. (Why bother with having to scroll past big empty white margins and phony page breaks when you’re editing on the screen?) …

Macros are back, which is great. Finally, I thought, I can automate the series of search-and-replace operations that are necessary to prepare my weekly column for use in plain-text e-mail (turning curly quotes into straight ones, for example).

Seems like he should be using a text editor, not a word processor. Or if he absolutely needs to generate RTF, maybe he could follow Andy Ihnatko’s lead and use Scrivener.

What really struck me, though, was how he used a kind of pidgin Markdown in the article. Look at what he does to show emphasis:

O.K., what? You *knew* about these bugs, but you’re selling this software anyway?

He does the asterisk thing three separate times. I bet he could pick up the rest of Markdown if he put his mind to it.