Glenn Fleishman, writing for The Atlantic:
Many aspects of website design have improved to the point that
nuances and flourishes formerly reserved for the printed page are
feasible and pleasing. But there’s a seemingly contrary motion
afoot with quotation marks: At an increasing number of
publications, they’ve been ironed straight. This may stem from a
lack of awareness on the part of website designers or from the
difficulty in a content-management system (CMS) getting the curl
direction correct every time. It may also be that curly quotes’
time has come and gone.
Major periodicals have fallen prey, including those with a long
and continuing print edition. Not long ago, Rolling Stone had
straight quotes in its news-item previews, but educated them for
features; the “smart” quotes later returned. Fast Company opts
generally for all “dumb” quotes online, while the newborn
digital publication The Outline recently mixed straight and
typographic in the same line of text at its launch. Even the
fine publication you’re currently reading has occasionally
neglected to crook its pinky.
I solved this problem with SmartyPants back in November 2002, three months after starting Daring Fireball. The key appeal of SmartyPants is that you can keep your source prose in dumb ASCII — the transformation to proper typographic punctuation occurs in the output.
Unsurprisingly, the third post ever published on Daring Fireball was devoted to the topic. Over 26,000 posts later, I just fixed a few broken links in that post to point to versions of those pages cached by the amazing Internet Archive.
★ Thursday, 29 December 2016