When smart quotes aren’t

20 thoughts on “When smart quotes aren’t”

  1. “Programmers are not grammarians, apparently.”

    As an old editor I can certainly bemoan the problem with you. But there’s one saying that I picked up when I was editing user manuals for a supercomputer start up company. I had an engineer (programmer) come to me one day and offer to help me if I got in over my head. His exact statement was: “I’m something of a writer myself, you know.”

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve repeated that when dealing with people who are absolutely certain (like the above programmer), that the way they spell stuff was right and the dictionary was wrong.

    Good luck on your quest…

    1. I’m developing a similar problem, but I can always zoom in and double check. That’s probably how and why I noticed and fretted over it in my last post.

      1. I didn’t mean to imply that you did my friend. I was just admitting that I wouldn’t have known there was a problem if you hadn’t pointed it out… ^^’

      2. Now “writing around” my lack of skill is something I do all the time. It’s when it seems right but is actually wrong that I get into trouble! O_o

  2. Talking of hopeless causes; the eradication of Mr. Websters 1828 American Dictionry of the English language!

    Nothing annoys me more than the deliberate misspelling of words in the English language (and pretty well every other language nowadays) and words of common usage by English speaking people but of another language; words from the Metric system immediately springs to mind.

    When will Americans learn that a metre a litre are not English words and therefore not subject to Noah Websters idiocy and were in use in France 2 or 3 decades before he bastardised the English language for his own self aggrandisement and that they should be left alone.

    Being early Sunday morning this is my grumpy sermon for the day. 😕

    Oh and by the bye the misuse of the apostraphe has ceased to bother me now; at my age I’ve got other things to worry about, like if I wake up tomorrow who an I going to annoy 😉 🙂

    1. We Americans are notorious for doing things our own way, whether it’s right or not. And having not adopted the metric system, most of us aren’t really concerned with how to spell it. No King’s English for us! 😉

      I’m afraid we’re well on our way to destroying the apostrophe, too.

  3. Hi PT– I don’t suppose you read the Sunday comic, “Mallard Fillmore,” today? Granted, he is a conservative, traditionalist sort, but today’s is in sync with your post. I’m far from perfect in my writing, but it grates when a plural is printed/written as a possessive. And I SO agree that txtng, along with the demise of cursive writing in schools, is dooming society in terms of proper English, both spoken and written. Thinking there must be an editing gene in my mix 🙂

    1. I’ve ranted about the demise of cursive writing, along with everything else that’s causing a degradation of the language. Not that it does any good. Too many people just don’t care. That’s an even bigger problem than our declining educational standards. 🙁

  4. Don’t know how I missed this post but I did…

    Since you didn’t mention this I’ll assume you may not be aware but if you use Word or WordPerfect for example to type your post (which I often do), then paste your post into your WordPress processor it will normally indicate any words using an apostrophe as spelling errors. If you check to see what your error is you won’t readily recognize the problem because the word correction it is presenting appears to be the same that you typed but actually it is the apostrophe that WordPress spellchecker is taking issue with. When it comes to apostrophes, it apparently only recognizes plain text. 😕

    1. Early on, I tried using Word. I forget why, but I know I gave it up as an unnecessary additional step. And maybe because of integration problems like you describe. I know the WP spellchecker is badly lacking but didn’t know about the apostrophes. That seems like such a basic thing.

    1. Hmm, you are correct. Now I have to wonder if what displayed when I first posted this (and the previous post) and whether the programming has been fixed to correct the problem I’ve been talking about. At least I’ve made people aware of the problem, but it could be that programmers have begun addressing it in ways I wasn’t aware of. Which is fine with me. We need both apostrophes and single opening quotes.

      Thanks for your sharp eyes. Mine aren’t what they used to be. Good to know there’s someone else out there (hopefully younger) who notices such details.

... and that's my two cents