[LMB] OT: smart apostrophes in Word

Michael R N Dolbear m.dolbear at lineone.net
Fri Sep 28 13:20:42 BST 2007

> From: Rachel Ganz <rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk>
> Date: 28 September 2007 09:37

> Do tell? I have never spotted any apostrophe variation between English
and USAian (and Canadian) printed matter, but that doesn't mean it isn't

Current house style in British publishers is mostly that speech or other
quotations are enclosed in single quotes, ie apostrophes. In the US double
quotes would be used and in both the other quotation mark is used if any
interior quotes are required.

Thus (GB) The man said 'I will write to "The Times" tonight'
and (US) The man said "I will write to 'The Times' tonight"

As a reader I did not notice this until I saw it mentioned on a writer's
discussion news group, indeed the current usage is not invariant and has, I
think, only become  established in the last few decades. Perhaps listees
will look at some old and oldish books from different publishers? None of
my GB published Bujolds use the single quote style and I was easily able to
find both styles in use in pre-1939 GB books.

Little Egret

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