Accents & Punctuation: February 2007 Archives

Smart Quotes Entity Codes


I'm on the warpath (again) about improperly encoded Smart Quotes which appear as mystery boxes on my Mac/Safari. See example below.

Screen capture of page with smart quotes replaced with boxes

Web Site with Improperly Encoded Quotes as Seen on Safari
For the record, the HTML Entity Codes are as follows.
Smart Quotes and Hypens
“ (left curly quote)
‘ (left single curly quote)
” (right curly quote)
’ (right single curly quote)
– (en dash)
— (em dash)

And for those of you who may encounter non-English text, these quote marks are also in use.

European Quote Marks
« « (left angle)
» » (right angle)
‹ (left single angle)
› (right single angle)
„ (bottom quote)
‚ (single bottom quote)


Central Europe: Fear of Polish & Czech Accent Marks


Edward Lucas, one of the Eastern European journalists at the the Economist, has a fun article (The language of Šekspīrs) pointing out that even people comfortable with umlauts, tildes and cedilles may tremble at the sight of the Czech hacheck and Polish ogonek.


About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage ( for a profile.


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