When viewing Unix & Linux in the normal web interface (I checked Firefox and Chrome under Linux), double quotes " in titles are rewritten to their non-ASCII slanted versions “…”. This is highly inappropriate on a site where is an important matter. Double quotes in titles are often the ASCII character (U+0022 QUOTATION MARK) in a bit of Unix shell syntax, and showing different characters gives the impression that what is written is not shell syntax. We can use the typographically pleasant U+201C and U+201D when we want. Please leave U+0022 alone when we mean it.

This request applies to any other site whose habitual topics assign meaning to ASCII characters. Stack Overflow, Super User, Server Fault and Ask Ubuntu have the same problem. This is not an exhaustive list.

Note that unlike Fix Markdown/SmartyPants in question titles I am not suggesting that titles should support Markdown, but that they should be displayed as is.

(Posting as a because, whether quote rewriting was part of the design specification of the site or not, it is undesirable behavior, so it should not have been. Posting now because it has yet again confused at least two readers.)

(Besides, if you start to edit the question and cancel, you get to see the actual title. So the title rewrite isn't even consistent.)

  • @GeoffDalgas Why did you add the android-app tag? I'm not talking about the Android app, I'm talking about the “normal” view in a web browser. And why did you migrate to Meta Stack Exchange? This is a site-specific style issue. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 16:30
  • Ah, I removed the tag.. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 16:32
  • @GeoffDalgas In fact muru's answer says that the Android app does not have this bug. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 16:34
  • 5
    IMHO this should be the default for any site where quotes are important, including (but not limited to) the trilogy, U&L, Ask Ubuntu, TeX - LaTeX, beta sites like Vi and Vim, Emacs, elementary OS...
    – muru
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 16:46
  • 2
    Close voter(s) - this has already been migrated from a specific site meta which kind of proves it's not site specific. Please stop being so trigger happy with that close reason.. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 18:35
  • @ShadowWizard My original request was for Unix & Linux only, that's why I voted to close here. I don't propose to remove this feature on non-IT sites. Since the MSE community apparently wants a more general request, I've broadened it. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 7:59
  • @GeoffDalgas - hoping for prompt resolution of this bug `"'in 6 to 8 weeks'"`, for a suitable definition of `"'week'"`. This is not a fortuitous design decision for programming sites. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 11:01
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    possible duplicate of Fix Markdown/SmartyPants in question titles Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 18:25
  • @NathanTuggy In that thread from 5 years ago, parsing titles as markdown was rejected. This is not what I am requesting here. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:33
  • @Gilles: Check duping; several other questions about the double hyphens have been duped to it, which was my point. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:34
  • @Gilles: That said, it's possible this should be readdressed in any case, since I can't say I'm thrilled with the current state of affairs. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:35
  • @NathanTuggy Then please suggest a question that reports the same bug. I didn't find any back when I posted this, but of course I might easily have missed it. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:35
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    @NathanTuggy Ah, thank you. Indeed the munging of dashes and quotes is the same problem. So we need to have one of those open and close the others as a duplicate of that one. Let me know when you've decided which one to keep open. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


We have now disabled all Smarty-like modifications text in titles.

From now on, the title text saved for the post is the title text that will be displayed.

If folks want em-dashes (ALT-0151) and fancy quotes (ALT-0145 through -0148) to appear in titles, they are welcome to add them. But we won’t convert it automatically any longer.

we’re no longer the
smarty-pants who makes changes
to typography


In the Android app, this seems to be the case:

(Click image to enlarge)


Of course, I can't say for sure if that's because the font in use displays pretty quotes the same as ASCII ones, or because they left quotes alone. The title can't be selected or copied without editing.

(Just noting that they seem to be perfectly capable of doing this in one place, at least.)

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