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  1. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

    May 11, 2011
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    Curly vs Straight

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rumwriter, Feb 5, 2015.

    I am just discovering the powers of curly vs straight quotes. As I understand it, typographers say that using “curly” quotes is better than "straight" quotes—straight quotes should never be used. (My software defaults to straight quotes when I hit shift+').

    My question then is for apostrophes. Does anyone know if an apostrophe should always be a curly single quote, such as, “She wants Jill’s doll," or if it should be a straight single quote, such as, “She wants Jill's doll.”
    cydney likes this.
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I'd say the apostrophe should match the quotation marks - straight with straight, curly with curly.

    But I also wouldn't spend a whole lot of time worrying about this. I guess you need to think about it if you're planning to self-publish, but even then you'll probably mess around with details like this at the formatting stage, and I think your goal will be to produce a finished product that will look clear even in different fonts and on different e-readers.
  3. Triad Editing

    Triad Editing Member

    Jan 30, 2015
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    Yes, that's a great point, BayView. Consistency is key. As long as all the marks are the same format, I think you will be fine.
  4. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    I thought this was going to be about hair.
    minstrel, Lea`Brooks, Ivana and 3 others like this.
  5. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

    Jun 8, 2012
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    Oslo, Norway
    Personally I prefer straight quotes, possibly through experience. Generally I'd say to simply be aware of both types being in use, be consistent and to choose whichever you personally prefer, just like you choose most other things in your texts yourself. Consider asking your editor if you have one, though, or simply let them deal with it when the time comes. Surely it's not a hard thing to fix in post. Feel free to look around the net for people's general preferences when it comes to this, but IMO don't do it if it doesn't actually inherently interest you; you've probably got far too many other things to think about anyway.
  6. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Mar 17, 2013
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    Profaned Capital
    I've already forgotten according to which style it was... MLA, maybe, but my professor at Uni said straight quotes are a no-no. While academic writing and creative writing are different animals, I've stuck with curly quotation marks, especially 'cause they're the default in Word when I write in English (US). The quotations change when I change the language to French (>> to these <<), and at least one Word gives straight quotes when the spellcheck is in Finnish.

    Anyway, they're easy to change if your future editor so demands.

    If you use curly quotes, use a curly apostrophe. And straight with straight.
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    Huh. I work in plain text a lot, which means that if I were using curly quotes I'd have to manually balance the left and right. So, nope, I certainly don't use them. I'm not even sure I know how to make them happen.

    I did some quick Googling, and immediately found several links recommending that curly quotes should not be used in standard manuscript format, which is what I kinda sorta intuitively expected. I think of standard manuscript format as being mostly plain text plus some occasional italics.
    Bjørnar Munkerud likes this.

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