Smartquotes Smackdown

[BLOG ENTRY UPDATED FEB 13th 11AM CST: We are no longer rejecting smartquotes because we failed to take into consideration issues beyond smartquotes, such those using non ISO standard characters from the many different flavors of non-Unicode that exist. Argghh.]

This month, we’re going to be turning up the heat even more on our quest to eradicate MS Word Smartquotes from articles, ESPECIALLY the TITLE and the ARTICLE SUMMARIES.

Why, you ask? Because SmartQuotes and other non-standard characters BREAK things.

They break RSS feeds, they break Google’s XML sitemap standards, and they make you (and us) look foolish when your article is forwarded and the email clients can’t distinguish your smartquotes so they replace it with garbage data.

We’re currently fixing over 6,000 articles by hand that used a smartquote or other non ISO standard character in the TITLE.


Effective today, we are now rejecting incoming articles that have smartquotes in the TITLE. Yes, you’ll be given a chance to correct it during the submission process.

So, thanks in advance for NOT including SmartQuotes in your article TITLE or SUMMARY.

More SmartQuotes Info.

Also, some blog commentors in this blog have used MS Word and then included SmartQuotes in their COMMENTS. Did you ever notice that our blog software doesn’t convert these correctly? Yes, I know we could work to solve that, but this further demonstrates the reason why you want to avoid them for ALL blog posts, comments and articles that you create.

Lastly, I hope there comes a day when this is a ‘non-issue’ and we’re still working on programming solutions to help authors to not have to worry about this annoying non-standard character issue.

1 Comment »

Andy Wibbels writes:

Excellent news! Smartquotes break HTML, they break browsers, they can gum up scripts and make RSS feeds invalid. Great decision!

Comment provided March 6, 2006 at 1:49 AM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.