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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the game, but my Spidey-sense tells me that there are very strong feelings amongst the community about quotation marks: The "curly" left and right ones, and the straight ones.

My question is, as long as they are consistent throughout the work, does it really matter?

I used probably 4 different platforms to write my novel (it took me five years, off an on.) Now that I fixed the final edits, I fixed all of the quotations to be consistent because they were funky. The process I used does not have "smart quotes," so they turned out to be straight. I also fixed the apostrophes and single quotes to straight as well.

Fast forward to the formatting process. I'm reading all I can because I plan on formatting myself. I see a bunch of stuff about left quotes and right quotes. Do I need to be concerned with this if I have them presenting straight? One site even made me feel bad for using them, but I really had no choice in this matter.

I get so confused, so easily. To quote Peter Griffin, "I'm so old and in the way." LMAO
 
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It doesn't matter - so long as you are consistent and the reader knows what you are doing.

Everyone has a different style, just make sure you are consistent. That's where people will get annoyed.
 

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I don't think it matters for ebooks, but for print, I think curly looks better. You can change them all in word - switch "smart quotes" on and do a search-and-replace: single quote to single quote and double quote to double quote - and word will do it all for you.
 

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If you use Calibre for formatting, you can tick the "Smarten punctuation" option and it will set straight quotes to curly (and fix other typographic stuff, such as double hyphens conversion to "extra-long" single hyphens).
 

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It does matter.

"Curly" or "smart" quotes are actual quotation marks.

"Straight" quotes are actual inch (and foot) marks.

Also, be careful of word processors that will use "smart" quotes, but then also replace inch and foot marks with "smart" quotes when those should be "straight" marks.

On forums, like this, you'll have to use "straight" quotes because if you use proper quotation marks, they will be converted to "straight" quotes automatically, as in: “John told Jim, ‘Hey, I like you new hat!’”
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I finally got my straight quotes to convert to the curly ones, and now they have question marks after them! It won't let me "replace all" it only let me do them one by one. Why does everything f up toward the end???? Argh! I love to write, but I really hate all word processing programs, paid and free. They're all junk!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sarah Aubrey said:
What are you using as a Word Processor? This should not be difficult and I've never had something like that happen.
There's actually a more loaded answer than it should be.

I started writing the novel on Google Docs five years ago, then on Open Office (different versions of it). I may have wrote a bit in Microsoft Word. I even wrote on my cell phone if I was at a place that I felt the inspiration and that was the only place. That's how I got all these funky quotes, indentions, etc. I absolutely hate Word and I refuse to use it. I recently bought Scrivener. This is where I'm having trouble. OO and Scrivener are giving me a hard time, and when one won't work right, I'll import it to the other. I've gone on here and Google looking for a better solution and all I get is, "it's easy, just do A,B,C..." I do A,B, and C and they rarely work right.

Why couldn't I have been born a couple of decades earlier and just tapped away on an IBM Selectric? ::)
 

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"I've gone on here and Google looking for a better solution and all I get is, "it's easy, just do A,B,C..." I do A,B, and C and they rarely work right."

Go here, do the "A,B,C", and they will work as shown - every time ;o) No buying involved, and you can work on every platform (hw and sw) you may wish.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,207774.msg2894692.html#msg2894692
 

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From the 'just get it done and released' perspective, no it doesn't matter. From the 'would a traditional publisher ever let this slip?' perspective, it's totally necessary.

Sent you a PM.
 

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Do you guys actually notice the type used for quotation marks when you are reading?  I am amazed.  I guess once you see things, you cannot unsee them...
 

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MyraScott said:
Do you guys actually notice the type used for quotation marks when you are reading? I am amazed. I guess once you see things, you cannot unsee them...
I don't know about most people, but from the typographer's perspective, which is one of obsessive and anal attention to details (to a point that is probably rather unhealthy in the normal world), it's hard to unsee them, you're right.

But you have to be especially unnaturally detail-attentive for it to matter. Now we'll see if you can unsee them, though! haha.
 

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I'll have to try out the Calibre fix. I use curly quotes (I do greatly prefer how they look) but that means you have to carefully proofread for certain instances of the quotes curling the wrong way such as with 'cause (a shortening of "because").
 
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