“Real” Inches

Please make a note that our next TRIVIA NIGHT has been moved up 1 week to September 30th at 7PM. The theme is Foreign Affairs.

Today at Bacchus we’re offering up $3 pints. Choose any one of our tap beers! What a deal! Add a flatbread pizza or sandwich to your order and make it a full meal! It’ll be the best thing to do after some fun in the sun. BTW: Welcome back sun!

Today is also the day to pause, perhaps with the help of a comma or two, to commemorate National Punctuation Day. It’s part awareness, part celebration of how important punctuation marks are to accurately express, define, even truncate (thank you, ellipsis) our writing.

What punctuation error bothers you most? The overuse of exclamation points, or the misuse of quotation marks?

We’d have to mention the difference between these two trivial symbols:

Curly quotes are the quotation marks used in good typography. There are four curly quote characters: the opening single quote (‘), the closing single quote (’), the opening double quote (“), and the closing double quote (”). They’re used for punctuation.

Straight quotes are the two generic vertical quotation marks located near the return key: the straight single quote (') and the straight double quote ("). They’re used as symbols to represent feet and inches respectively.

Straight quotes come to us from the typewriter. In traditional printing, all quotation marks were curly. But typewriter character sets were limited by mechanical constraints and physical space. By replacing the curly opening and closing quotes with ambidextrous straight quotes, two slots became available for other characters.


We even use curly quotes with our fingers!

Fortunately, avoiding straight quotes is easy: use your word processor’s smart-quote feature, which will substitute curly quotes automatically. Smart quotes are typically turned on by default.

How to turn smart quotes on or off:

  • Word (Windows): File → Options → Proofing → AutoCorrect Options → AutoFormat As You Type → check or uncheck "Straight Quotes" with “Smart Quotes”

  • Mac Word: Word → Preferences → AutoCorrect → AutoFormat As You Type → check or uncheck "Straight Quotation Marks" with “Smart Quotation Marks”

Now you know our punctuation pet peeve! Come on in and let us know about yours over a pint of beer.