About the <å> element

I’ve received an embarrassing number of questions over the years asking me about my use of “<å>” in my articles. I’ve had to answer this so many times that I finally decided to put the explanation on the blog.

Spoiler alert: it’s just a typo!

<å> is neither a scientific notation, a new HTML element, nor some ongoing in-joke or meme. It’s just a mistake that I keep doing over and over again.

Å is an extra vowel used in some North Germanic languages and is found as an extra key on the keyboard layouts for these languages. On the Norwegian keyboard layout, which is the one I use, the Å-key is located right next to the P-key. Meaning that when I’m creating <p> elements to mark a new paragraph in HTML, I sometimes hit the Å-key by accident.

<å> isn’t on the allow-list of HTML elements built-in to WordPress, so it escapes the angle brackets and prints it as-is; resulting in the distinctly Daniel-esque <å> element. When I look at in my editor, it’s easier to overlook <å> for <p>. “Å” is a word in Norwegian, so my bilingual spell-checker doesn’t flag it as a mistake either.

In conclusion, you’ve learned that I type out and format plain HTML in my writing, that I sometimes don’t quality check my work sufficiently, and you’ve learned that people get curious when they see something unfamiliar that looks a bit like a new HTML element. However, it’s just a reoccurring typo that I make on my somewhat exotic keyboard layout.