So apparently I had magic quotes in my blog. I suppose that’s a good explanation for why they were reproducing like rabbits in the spring :P Apparently magic quotes are an obnoxious little feature of older versions of PHP (and WP, which is what I use for my blog, is PHP based) where quotes and apostrophes in submitted text are marked by the code with the addition of either a backslash or an additional quotation mark by default. The feature can be turned off, however, for the somewhat obvious reason that it can make a mess of the submitted text. This results in a rather severe complication – if a system is expecting magic quotes to be off, but they are turned on (which they are by default), then quotation marks start to replicate.

In the case of WordPress, everytime I saved a draft of a post, the quotes would replicate. So if I saved one draft, then posted the text I would have quadrouple quotes. Magic quotes indeed!

Thankfully I have now drained my quotes of all their magic, leaving them mundane husks of their former selves and saving the magic for my photos ;) Unfortunately, I don’t feel like going back and un-doing all the magical quotation reproduction that happened on earlier posts . . . so I’ve cleaned up the worst of it, but you may still run into some stray crazy quotes. Don’t worry though, they are harmless in their current state.