by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/11/16 01:01 -08:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2005/11/16/492276.aspx
The other day in The Language Log, Mark Lieberman mentioned about how "even Reuters, contrary to its stated policy against using the words terrorist and terrorism outside of quotation marks, sometimes uses these words in headlines and news stories".
I have a theory about this, from my own experiences in blogging and hyperlinks and having had an email friendly name with quotations.
Headlines often have to be used in plain text, without special markup (regardless of special formatting used in headline styles). And the use of either single or double quotes raises hell with parsers that are trying to list the headlines, which means they have to be escaped or NCR-ized (i.e. convert to " rather than using ").
Perhaps the Reuter's variation to policy in headlines predates the online world, but it easy to imagine that any kind of mechanized system for news reporting could have the same types of issues.
If the variation to the policy in headlines predates mechanized typing, then it would just be a happy coincidence that the variation was also a technical convenience. :-)
This post brought to you by " (U+0022, a.k.a. QUOTATION MARK)
The Unicode code point that has been proud to act as the 'cover' for every prior sponsor to date!
# Maurits on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:05 AM:
# Rickey on Friday, December 30, 2005 12:47 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Friday, December 30, 2005 10:08 AM:
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