I thought I was going to have to do a bunch of tedious work here at WordPress.com and then I discovered the problem.
I had a post (and thought there was more than one) where the entire body of the post had been converted to italics. This is bad since I make an effort to clearly mark Spanish (or other non-English) terms in italics with the English part of the post in non-italics. I noticed at least one post “screwed up”.
I tried various things to recreate the problem and failed to find what was causing this. The body of the post looks fine in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor but is wrong when viewed. I thought I’d have to repost a bunch of posts to correct this and that was going to mess up the history of this blog. But better to have the formatting of the posts correct.
So I started with the most recent post that had this problem. In one window I’d have the bad post open so I could copy and paste its text to a new post. A pain but the only way I thought I could fix it.
Then I saw the problem.
WordPress.com’s editor has a toolbar to select italics for some text in the body of the post. BUT that doesn’t work on the title. So being familiar with direct editing of HTML I used the <i>word</i> in the title, which works to get the Spanish word in italics in the title.
BUT, what if one forgets to include the </i> in the title?
Well, that messes up the HTML WordPress.com generates when they display the post and so italics is turned on but never off, so it applies to the entire post.
So mystery solved and a few posts are now repaired and in their proper (i.e. original) sequence in the blog.
Whew! Glad I spotted this and now know what I have to avoid.