Proposal:Remove banned characters

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Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-294
Champion: Hawke
Current status: Unknown
Initial Discussion

Remove banned characters from the Miscellaneous Guideline

Currently, it is a requirement that ASCII typewriter quotes (" and ') be used in place of proper typographical quotes (“, ‘, ’, ”), prime (′) and double-prime (″). In addition, it is required that three period/full stop characters be used in place of the distinct ellipsis character (…).

The rationale for this is that it helps compatibility with clients that don’t support Unicode. However, the number of clients like this is likely to be shrinking rapidly if it’s not already zero. There are much bigger problems for any clients which don’t support Unicode since it is used widely for releases which don’t use Latin script as well as for a variety of special characters in other releases.

This proposal would remove the sections Use of Quotation Marks (" and ') and Use of Ellipsis Mark (...) from the Miscellaneous Guideline page.

When this was discussed on the style list, the preference for allowing all Unicode characters was fairly overwhelming.


These sections should probably be replaced with some sort of guide to using punctuation, possibly in another style guide.

Use of special characters

The use of certain special characters is preferred:

’ is preferred in place of '. Use ' only if it is clearly as it appears on the cover, or if you can’t easily produce the preferred characters.
Quotation marks
Use the mark that appears on the track listing. If unsure, use “ and ”. Other common variations: ‘, ’«, », „, ‹,› (note difference from < and >). Use " only if it is clearly as it appears on the cover, or if you can’t easily produce the preferred characters.
Use single prime (′), double-prime (″), and triple-prime where appropriate (single prime indicates minutes and feet; double-prime indicates seconds and inches)
Use the ellipsis character (…) instead of three periods (...)
Use the em dash (—)and en dash (–) where appropriate. If you can’t easily enter these characters, use - for en dash and -- for em dash. Other editors should correct these where possible.

Other changes

It would also be necessary to modify the Guess Case script to not auto-convert “ and ” to ", ‘ and ’ to ', and … to "..." It might be useful to have it auto-convert the other way, but it may be better to just leave it alone and trust the editor: There are releases out there which definitely use typewriter quotes/apostrophes.