Consistent punctuation oddities

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Tue Apr 29 03:19:11 UTC 2008

>  >2. Using commas instead of apostrophes. "I,ve done extensive research
>>but I,m looking for the actual law." Real example posted today to my
>  >web site
>The latter may not be a practice, but a formatting "translation", not
>necessarily involving a foreign keyboard.  Smart single quotes will
>sometimes be automatically transmuted into commas willy-nilly, so no
>intention may be involved on the part of the writer.  I have no idea
>what's going on in the former case.

In fact, those "commas" aren't even commas,
they're baseline single quotes. They look just
like commas, but if you copy one and do a
search-and-replace on it to apostrophe, it
replaces just the converted apostrophes, and not
the real commas. Another conversion you likely
see on a regular basis is i-acute-accent (í if my
characters come through properly) in place of

If you do the search-and-replace and it replaces
all the commas as well, then you're probably
dealing with a BlackBerry user...

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list