Potty Page

October 7, 2003

Sodding backticks

Apostrophes (and single quoting)... no this is not a rant on where one should put one and where you shouldn't. It's a whole backtick apostrophe thing, that some idiots seem to do...

A bit of background infomation... ages ago when people started to write things and quoted things. They would do it like ‘this’ Note the curley apostrophe single quote style things. Right... then along came the computer and they didn't put the curley things on the keyboard or the character set originally. Instead they made the curly thing straight, and then it could do both sides of quotations. Then along came peeps who wanted things to look nice, so they made a curly left and right quotey things and put them in the extended characters. Some magical computer programs were made that would even second guess at the direction of the quote and automatically use it when you type stuff - so everything looks nice. Cunning.

This idea however gets flawed when someone mistakes the backtick as a curly left quote. By backtick I mean ` It indeed looks like a left quote... but then when you use ' to close it something you've quoted... the ' doesn't complement it, as it looks straight. Also magical computer programs will only see the one ', as the ` isn't a ' and will either not know what to do with the direction or even choose the wrong one, because it'll assume that you are opening a quotation, not closing one.

Far too many times I've seen something quoted like `this' and it's just plain wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. I suppose it only irriatates me soooo much because it looks sooo wrong and yet people only do it to try to make it look right and don't actually realise that it looks crap and it's just plain wrong.

The backtick is not a typographical character, grrrr.


[Listening to: Avril Lavigne - Sk8R Boi]
Posted by Ed at October 7, 2003 4:03 PM | Rant |