Straightforward Design Speech Marks
8th November 2018

Speech Marks

The quotation mark, (or marks as they never party alone) has quite a deep-rooted and inconsistent use throughout history. Originally named the diple or ‘double’ due to its dual intersecting lines (>), it was used inside a margin to highlight noteworthy text within a passage. Its first large-scale use was by conflicting religious wordsmiths quoting The Bible to show how other’s writings were inconsistent with that of the (then new) Old Testament. Speech marks would evolve and adapt to many uses throughoutthe course of time until the 15th century and the rise of mass press printing. The British understanding was that when quoting speech, double quotation marks were used and single marks for contextual terminology. This went in direct contrast to the American usage. As literature has expanded and spread internationally from both countries, this contrast has caused, to this day, much contestation and confusion on the ‘correct’ usage of the humble speech mark.