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There is one symbol ‘ . . .’ that can be called as quote or inverted comma.

Is there any difference between these names? What is the origin of term inverted comma?

I think it's legacy of our industrial society and computers where term inverted used very often.

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...and how does that relate to apostrophe? –  SF. Jan 22 '13 at 9:51
    
@SF. You have a possibility to edit questions... –  viakondratiuk Jan 22 '13 at 10:38
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When printers used little pieces of metal to set type, you could physically take a comma and turn it upside down. So before computers, single quotes may actually have been inverted commas. –  Peter Shor Jan 22 '13 at 12:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This pair of marks, whether single (‘ . . .’) or double (“ . . .”) is known as inverted commas in the UK, and in the US, I believe, as quotation marks, although both terms seem to be fairly widespread.

According to David Crystal, writing in ‘Think On My Words: Exploring Shakespeare’s Language’, ‘The mark started to appear in English during the 1590s, but did not come into regular use until the late eighteenth century.' This accords with the earliest citation for inverted comma in the Oxford English Dictionary which is from 1789: ‘Two inverted commas are generally placed at the beginning of a phrase or a passage, which is quoted or transcribed from some author, in his own words.’

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