Wiktionary:Votes/2020-07/Converting policy and guide pages as for quotes and apostrophes

Converting policy and guide pages as for quotes and apostrophesEdit

Voting on: Converting policy and guide pages to use curly quotes and curly apostrophes in their text. Therefore, when someone switches plain quotes to curly quotes or apostrophes in these pages, they should not be reverted, and the curly quotes or apostrophes should stay. Alternatively, converting to plain quotes and plain apostrophes.

The above includes converting apostrophes ( ' vs. ’ ), single quotation marks ( ' ' vs. ‘ ’ ), and double quotation marks ( " " vs. “ ” ). The above does not concern en dashes ( – ), em dashes ( — ), hyphens ( - ), and doubled hyphens ( -- ).


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: Dan Polansky (talk) 08:54, 12 July 2020 (UTC)


Support conversion to curliesEdit

  1.   Support Curly quotation marks and apostrophes are more professional, and we already often use actual dashes (– —) rather than hyphens (-). I prefer using both in official user-facing material. I don't like Wikipedia's inconsistent practice of using dashes but not curly quotes and apostrophes, even though I tend to use it in discussions, as you can see here, out of laziness, even though on Linux I can type all of these characters fairly easily with the Compose key, without having to click in the EditTools or the "Special characters" menu in the WikiEditor. Even though entries are likely to remain an inconsistent mess, I support allowing policy and guide pages to be held to a higher typographical standard. I'd support it for entries as well, but that's not in the scope of the current vote. — Eru·tuon 22:11, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support It’s 2020, get a real keyboard layout if they aren’t easy to type. Also curly apostrophes are easier to type, I automatically press them by my training, and it depends on the keyboard layout anyway what is easier to type. In the default keyboard layout for German on XKB Shift+AC12 is plain apostrophe while AltGr+AC12 is curly apostrophe, which is of equal effort and less if you count that only the former needs two hands. Fay Freak (talk) 23:48, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Support per Erutuon: "Curly quotation marks and apostrophes are more professional". Curlies are the orthotypographic norm, afaik. PUC – 12:33, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
    Which is why you typed plains above? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:27, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    What I do doesn't matter, this vote is not about that. PUC – 10:41, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    Cheap shot, my friend. No one's disputing our keyboards don't help. DAVilla 05:28, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
    orthotypographic at OneLook Dictionary Search; orthotypographic at Google Ngram Viewer => not a word in actual use. What are the sources to support the notion that curlies are the typographic norm for online publishing? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:29, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    It's in marginal use: [1], [2], [3]. The noun orthotypography is in use too. PUC – 10:41, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    Yes, so marginal that GNV does not find it, and the very few uses are probably by non-native speakers. But that was just by the way. The important question was "What are the sources to support the notion that curlies are the typographic norm for online publishing?" And another important question, not asked above, is: how are we to ensure that the pseudo-correct typography is going to be used in the consumer-facing material where it really matters? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:49, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    @PUC: See orthotypographic. J3133 (talk) 11:00, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Support: since the vote is limited to policy and guide pages which are not likely to change often, I also support this proposal as curlies look more professional. (However, I think it would be impractical to extend the proposal to entry pages because it is inconvenient for most people to type curly quotation marks and apostrophes, and probably too much work for editors to go around converting straight marks to curlies. Whether this is a task for a bot could be explored at some later stage.) — SGconlaw (talk) 15:48, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
    @SGconlaw: What do you say to "being pseudo-correct on policy pages while pseudo-wrong in the consumer material seems odd"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:27, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    Wiktionary is going to be a perennial work-in-progress anyway, so I think it can't really be helped. It would be good if there were eventually some technical solution for converting all straight marks to curlies, or facilitating the typing of curlies. — SGconlaw (talk) 16:53, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support per PUC: “Curlies are the orthotypographic norm,” and others; most professional works use curlies. J3133 (talk) 03:59, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
    What sources or searches support the claim that most professional works online use curlies? (What they do offline is a whole separate matter). How is that "professionality" to be achieved in the mainspace, where it really matters? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:31, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
    Who made the claim? Professional works are stylized, you don't dispute. Professional works online are a mixed bag, but ones rooted in traditional media strongly trend toward curlies.
    In the main namespace is a great question. The answer is, we take one step at a time. DAVilla 05:22, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Support: Curlies may be more difficult to type for me, but I support others typing them for me, to increase my reading enjoyment. MuDavid 栘𩿠 (talk) 08:17, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Support as a step towards using curlies throughout. Per others above, curlies are much more professional-looking, and we should aspire to using them everywhere, but this depends on sufficient software support. Mihia (talk) 22:59, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
  8.   SupportVorziblix (talk · contribs) 01:14, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Support These are the typographically correct mark. Honestly, they should be used even in entry titles, if we had a smarter search algorithm. Correct me if I'm wrong, no one is saying it's enforced. We just don't want to see contributors go through and remove them, for sake of "consistency". Let's rather keep what we have, and work on an automated solution to help with the rest. DAVilla 04:50, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Support Proper semantics and typography are particularly important in a dictionary. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:29, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  11. Weak   Support. I feel that curlies make our pages look less “homemade”, if that makes any sense. I understand the concerns about the practicality of requiring something that is relatively difficult to input though, and I don’t think anyone should be forced to use them or convert straight quotes and apostrophes. Let the few who care worry about them. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:16, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

Oppose conversion to curliesEdit

  1.   Oppose as per my support for plains below. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:48, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose per explanation below supporting conversion to plains --DannyS712 (talk) 13:20, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose Equinox 13:25, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Oppose. Imetsia (talk) 17:26, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Oppose İʟᴀᴡᴀ–Kᴀᴛᴀᴋᴀ (talk) (edits) 22:43, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
  6.   OpposeAryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 22:39, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Oppose - TheDaveRoss 19:11, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Oppose - per below JeffDoozan (talk) 00:12, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Oppose - what the hell is a curly quotation mark anyway? DonnanZ (talk) 23:20, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    With the greatest respect, if you do not know what a "curly quotation mark" is, then you should not be voting here. Mihia (talk) 22:55, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
    Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes? is an informative, neutral explanation. DAVilla 05:36, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Oppose - Simpler is neater. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 09:42, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
  11.   Oppose Guitarmankev1 (talk) 12:16, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Abstain on conversion to curliesEdit

  1.   Abstain. I would prefer curly quotation marks and apostrophes, but logistically I think it isn't worth it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:26, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Abstain. I prefer curlies but I don't see the need to enforce one or the other. Ƿidsiþ 16:03, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
    I don't understand the wording to mean curlies are enforced, rather that they are preferred. So if you enter ambidextrous quotes and someone updates it, you shouldn't then change it back. DAVilla 04:53, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Support conversion to plainsEdit

  1.   Support as per talk page: Plains is what Wikipedia is doing. Plains are much easier to type and many people do not know how to type curlies; some non-native speakers are typing accute accent like "it´s", in an attempt to do the "right" thing, which it isn't. As a result, plains are the only way to achieve consistent look across the board, in policy pages, entries, attesting quotations in entries, etc.; apostrophes are entered rather often as part of attesting quotations. Fully automatic switching from plains to curlies does not seem feasible, merely semiautomatic; thus, the only way to achieve consistent curlies across the board is to have some editors perform low-added-value replacements, indefinitely, an avoidable process waste. Policy pages should reinforce the decision to use plains across the board. On a less important note, plains emphasize function over ornament. Plains are perfectly functionally adequate; they do not lead to any significant ambiguity in the presented text.

    On the note that maybe policy pages could converge to curlies while mainspace entries to plains, that is likely to create confusion for no appreciable benefit; and it is the mainspace pages that are the product intended for the ultimate consumers, not policy pages; being pseudo-correct on policy pages while pseudo-wrong in the consumer material seems odd. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:48, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

    You have a good point. They should all be consistently ("pseudo"-)correct. DAVilla 04:57, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support per detailed explanation by Dan Polansky - plains are easier to type, and while some users may be able to type curly quotes and apostrophes (‘“) more are able to type straight quotes and apostrophes ('") - for example I can only type the curly ones by switching to the Chinese keyboard I have installed. --DannyS712 (talk) 13:20, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Support Equinox 13:25, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Support. Imetsia (talk) 17:26, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support İʟᴀᴡᴀ–Kᴀᴛᴀᴋᴀ (talk) (edits) 22:43, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Support per Dan Polansky – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 18:02, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
  7.   SupportAryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 22:39, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Support - TheDaveRoss 19:11, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Support - I would support a solution that could fully-automate the change across all of pages while not requiring users to learn to type curlies, but, per Dan's argument above, I think anything less than a fully-automated switch is a misuse of editor time on a low-value task and anything half-way is needlessly confusing. JeffDoozan (talk) 00:11, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

Oppose conversion to plainsEdit

  1.   Oppose The punctuation pertaining to the language used should be used. Plain quotation marks aren’t part of any language, only programming languages. Computers have been invented for programming and computing, that’s why you have them on your keyboard, amongst many other signs like \ and # you likely do not write on paper. Fay Freak (talk) 23:53, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose per Fay Freak; I don't want to see these impostrophes (from impostor + apostrophe) proliferate. I find Dan Polansky's arguments unconvincing. PUC – 12:33, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
    "Arguments A1, ... An are unconvincing" is not a rebuttal; it is not substantive engagement with the material. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:35, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose since I support the proposal. — SGconlaw (talk) 15:48, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Oppose. I support conversion to curlies. J3133 (talk) 03:59, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Oppose. Ƿidsiþ 16:04, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Oppose, assuming that someone has gone to the trouble to systematically use or change to curlies. This work should not be undone. If one or two are randomly curly on a page that otherwise uses plains throughout then they could be changed to plain for consistency across the page. Mihia (talk) 10:20, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
  7.   OpposeVorziblix (talk · contribs) 01:14, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Strong oppose DAVilla 05:05, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Oppose Exact same reason I gave above. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:30, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  10.   OpposeUngoliant (falai) 01:07, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  11.   Oppose Guitarmankev1 (talk) 12:16, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Abstain on conversion to plainsEdit

  1.   Abstain. I would prefer conversion to curlies, but on the other hand that isn't likely to happen and I would be happy with consistency across the board. I'm not sure how I feel about touching quotes though. I think the punctuation used in the original text should be preserved. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:27, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
    I don't think it is important to preserve the curliness or plainness of quotation marks and apostrophes when copying quotations.* This can be viewed more or less in the same way as not preserving the font, for example. Mihia (talk) 09:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC) * Of course, unless there is some very special contextual reason, such as the quotation being about apostrophe styles, and illustrating them.
    Strongly disagree. Quotations are the one area where I make some effort to encode the original as closely as possible. DAVilla 05:02, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
    @Mihia Since ' and ’ can be used for different things in the same text, I think they should be distinguished. Different languages will also vary on how strict they are with this, especially since some use ’ as a letter, so I think it's better to stick to the original quote, just to be safe. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:26, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
    Well, I was only talking about English, or languages that use these symbols in a English-like way. Of course, if there is some language, or some very special English context, in which ' and ’ are "used for different things in the same text", then that would have to be preserved. Personally I cannot think of any such case in ordinary English. Is there one? To the extent that an author (or publisher) makes a conscious choice to use curly or plain, it is an aesthetic or "feel" choice, and thus no different from a font or layout choice, in my opinion. Personally, I see no more need (or just as much need, if you prefer) to preserve a plain apostrophe in a quote than preserve a single-storey letter "a", for instance. Mihia (talk) 17:16, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
    I agree with DAVilla. Quotations should be displayed as closely to original as Unicode permits. If this results in text that is hard to parse (which is common in medieval manuscripts with long esses, r rotundas and lots of abbreviations), we can use a transcription line to display a normalised text. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:20, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
    @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV: You mention using r rotundas. I asked Sgconlaw whether they should be used, who said no because “a lot of devices don’t provide proper font support for it”. J3133 (talk) 04:15, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Abstain – uncertain whether to go all out for curlies or to support some kind of consistency even if it's not in the direction I want. — Eru·tuon 22:54, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Abstain - I don't really care either way (I like either approach in fact) as long as there is consistency throughout all policy / guide pages. --Droigheann (talk) 08:53, 7 September 2020 (UTC)


Conversion to curlies has no consensus (11–11–2). Conversion to plains fails (9–11–3). No action taken. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:59, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

It always surprises me when people have such strong opinions on these tiny things... —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 22:16, 20 September 2020 (UTC)