straight or curly?

Hair? Er, no. Today let’s talk about quotation marks.

Curly quotes (AKA typographer’s quotes or smart quotes) are used in good typography. Straight quotes (dumb quotes) make you look unprofessional, reckless, and just plain dumb.

straight small 3

In traditional typography, all quotation marks were curly. But when the damn typewriter came along, the curly quotes were replaced by straight quotes to save a slot for another character. Undoubtedly something stupid, like Q.

Computers are not constrained by space issues, so you can always find curly quotes. In some programs, such as inDesign, you can set your preference to typographer’s quotes. How do you do this in other programs? What, do you think I’m a typography expert? Google it.

Why does it matter? Curly quotes are more legible, and, like gravity, they’re not just a good idea. They’re the law.

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