Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Using proper “curly quotes” instead of "straight quotes"

In Thinking With Type p. 164, Ellen Lupton issues this typographic call to action:

Incorrectly used prime marks must be routed out and destroyed.

So for breaks in thought: instead of --, use — (em-dash).

For numbers: instead of 1977-2007, use 1997–2007 (en-dash).

Instead of "hatch marks", use “quotation marks”.

Instead of 'prime marks', use ‘single quotation marks’. Use this also for apostrophes (Jon’s).

Instead of ..., use … (ellipsis).

Below is an AutoHotKey script that Windows users can use to insert this punctuation easily into any program. Adjust to taste:
^!-::—
^-::–
^"::“
!"::”
!+'::”
^'::‘
!'::’
^!.::…

This produces the following keyboard shortcuts, which can be used in any program:

em dashCtrl Alt -
en dashCtrl -
left quotation markCtrl "
right quotation markAlt "
left single quotation markCtrl '
right single quotation markAlt '
ellipsisCtrl Alt .

5 Comments:

  • Having lived thru the 8-bit era (Apple ][, emacs, etc) I'm philosophically opposed to this. The flatter the file, the more I respect it!

    By Blogger Jorn, at 5/21/2009 2:31 AM  

  • 'Thinking With Type' is great, and I love seeing proper punctuation characters on the web and in programs. Consider adding the ellipsis character to your arsenal, instead of 3 periods.

    By Blogger David, at 5/21/2009 3:01 AM  

  • Heh—thanks guys. I can see it both ways.

    Actually even Apple ]['s used special characters occasionally—check out the Apple character in http://www.flickr.com/photos/dansays/2245352674/

    I've added the ellipsis character.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/21/2009 8:00 PM  

  • For mac users:

    “ = option + [
    ” = option + shift + [
    ‘ = option + ]
    ’ = option + shift + ]
    – = option + -
    — = option + shift + -
    … = otpion + ;
    • = option + 8
     = option + shift + k

    :)

    By Blogger Fabricio, at 5/22/2009 9:36 AM  

  • Nice—thanks Fabricio.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/22/2009 10:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home