“By Request Day” – What Are Those Funny Symbols in Some of Your Posts?

Here’s what I’d like to say: Writing on the Internet requires that you consider a different type of reader and that you accommodate a reader who likes to scan. Although some recommend avoiding long posts, like I have been known to write, if you write long (or short) posts, you want to break things up into short paragraphs, use headings, bullet points, bold and italics, and make the posts easier to read and visually interesting.
The funny little symbols and characters, I’d like to say, are a clever device to create visual interest and give my readers something break up the parade of words on a page.
That’s what I’d like to say.
Unfortunately, the real story is this:
I sometimes write posts in Word. In the case of my reposted articles, I create the posts from Word documents. I might also copy portions of Word documents into my posts when I write them.
Unfortunately, in some Word documents I had turned on the “smart quotes” or “curly quotes.” For reasons I don’t understand, my version of Movable Type does not handle those curly quotes as regular quotes. Even worse, I cannot see that there is a problem when I “preview” he post before I published it. Even worse than that, I don’t see the problem in my newsreader when I view the RSS feed for my blog. That’s important because I don’t often look at my blog in my browser, but I do look at the feed in my newsreader.
What I’ve learned is that the “smart quotes” and the “smart apostrophes” turn up as odd symbols and characters on my blog rather than as regular quote marks and apostrophes. I then have to edit the original post, change the quote marks and apostrophes (which are visible at that point in Movable Type) and republish the post. It’s a pain and it’s not a task that ranks high on the priority list.
I’ve now found a few tricks that usually catch the problem before it happens, but the problems occurs every now and then, especially in the reposted articles. I’ll eventually find a more or less fool-proof method, but that’s the explanation. If you can visualize a quote mark or apostrophe when you see those funny symbols, you’ll know what I meant – but you were probably already doing that.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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