Spacey quotes

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Jargon Guides

The phrase "spacey quotes" is sometimes used to refer to the particular type error found in OCR texts in which quotation marks (single or double) are separated from text by spaces.

For example:

Justice " in the hands of Madame de Meroul " Le

This is an especially important error for proofers to be on the lookout for and correct, because while a software script can be used to find quote marks surrounded by spaces on both sides, no automated tool can determine to which of a pair of letters the quotation marks really apply as well as a human being's understanding of the text's context can.

In other words, it usually takes a human being to figure out if the text should be proofed as this

Justice "in the hands of Madame de Meroul" Le

or as this

Justice" in the hands of Madame de Meroul "Le