Have you noticed that our grammar has changed since we’ve shifted from print to web-based reading styles?
For example, the traditional curly quotes and apostrophes we grew up with are being replaced by the common prime (’) characterwhich is actually the symbol for the measure “foot”. The double prime is used instead of left or right quotes, of course, to me that reads “inches.”
Esteemed publications like the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post accept using primes as their online “apostrophe” while maintaining the traditional curly punctuation in their print editions. What’s next? Accepting text message abbreviations in lieu of those time consuming real words?
HAVE WE PROGRESSED?
As you can tell by this newsletter, you can still use proper grammar, it’s just a little more time-consuming.
Kirk Ranta is a local web developer who I collaborate with on many projects. He says: “Most people won’t notice the compromise but those who do will appreciate the professionalism that it shows.” I agree with him. We just go ahead and take the time to do it right. We also encourage our clients who write their own content to include these characters. To help them, we created a handy reference sheet.
In this issue, we feature one of the pitfalls of typography as it now exists in the digital age, punctuation. Our tools keep getting better, but there have been serious compromises. Hopefully this will show how we keep up the good disciplines that distinguish designers from the rest of the pack.