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The difference between smart quote and apostrophe

Improper use of “smart quotes” (aka “slanty quotes”, “curly quotes”) came up in a code review. Get Smart with Smart Quotes was a great resource.  Here are some quick take-aways:

  • Smart quotes consist of an open and a closed version (also referred to as left and right quotes).
  • Don’t confuse apostrophe () with a single quotation mark (‘).
  • Contractions should use the apostrophe character.
  • There are named HTML entities for smart quotes: ‘ (‘) ’ (’) “ (“) ” (”)



  1. It looks like you confused the apostrophe with the single quotation mark yourself…!

  2. It’s “rock n’ roll”. You should learn English before trying to teach it.

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