Quotation marks

quotation delimiter
q quote

Quotation marks should be captured where possible as renditional information modifying the element that motivates their appearance.

Quotation marks in most printed texts of relevance to scholars are not printed using the standard keyboard character ": in the Anglo-American tradition, they are printed using curved or smart quotes (single or double), and in other printing traditions they are printed using other characters such as guillemets. To retain flexibility of display, and also to allow for an attractive and accurate representation of the source text, we recommend that quotation marks should be transcribed using the character that is printed on the page, using an entity reference if that character cannot easily be typed by hand. We also recommend that they should be treated as delimiters and encoded on the rend attribute of the appropriate motivating element (e.g. q or quote), rather than being typed into the content of the text. (See the entry on prefixes and postfixes for more detail on encoding delimiters.) This allows the presentation to be regularized or altered as needed in different contexts, while retaining an accurate representation of the source.

When double quotation marks delimit the beginning and end of a quotation they should be encoded as left double quote and right double quote using the standard ISO entity references “ and ”. When single quotation marks delimit the beginning and end of a quotation they should be encoded as left single quote and right single quote using the standard ISO entity references ‘ and ’.

The repeated quotation marks which sometimes appear along the margins within a quotation are encoded using the bestow keyword of the rendition ladder on the q or quote element. (For more detail see the entry on the bestow keyword.) In addition, the rendition of multiparagraph quotations can be managed using bestow, although the encoding is somewhat involved (see example 2).

We do not recommend using " or ' to capture quotation marks. " represents a double straight quotation mark (which is rare in printed texts), and ' represents an apostrophe, not a single quotation mark. It is unnecessary to use the ' entity reference for apostrophes in the text; these can be captured using the standard apostrophe character.


Example 1.

A simple quotation:

<quote rend="pre(&ldquo;)post(&rdquo;)">How delightful,</quote> she thought to herself.

Example 2.

A multi-paragraph quotation in which the first paragraph has no closing quotation mark, using bestow to give each p element an initial quotation mark, and using post to give the entire quotation a closing quotation mark:

<quote rend="post(&rdquo;)bestow((pre(&ldquo;))(p))"><p>How I left that place, I cannot remember...only that the path was long and dark and full of terrors.</p>
<p>But in the end, as I struggled towards the light, I found my spirits uplifted and my limbs strengthened by the purer air.</p>

Example 3.

A quotation in which marginal quotation marks are encoded using bestow:

<quote rend="pre(&ldquo;)post(&rdquo;)bestow( (pre(&ldquo;)) (lb))">Long multiline quotation here...</quote>