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It is caused due to common * syntax of lists and italics. For deeply nested lists, parsing gets expensive due to recursive checks for italics. If you are willing to abandon *italics* syntax in favor of _italics_ then the computational overhead can be avoided. (defconst markdown-regex-italic "\\(?:^\\|[^\\]\\)\\(?1:\\(?2:[_]\\)\\(?3:[^ \n\t\\]\\|[^ \...

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