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By the nineteenth century, the design and usage began to be specific within each region.

The closing single quotation mark is identical or similar in form (depending on the font) to the apostrophe and similar to the prime symbol.

The double quotation mark is identical to the ditto mark and similar to—and often used to represent—the double prime symbol.

In Britain those marks were elevated to the same height of the top of capital letters ( claim that the reason for this was a practical one, in order to get a character that was clearly distinguishable from the apostrophes, the commas and the parenthesis (also, in other scripts, the angular quotation marks are distinguishable from other punctuation characters—the Greek breathing marks, the Armenian emphasis and apostrophe, the Arabic comma, decimal separator, thousands separator, etc.).

claim that the reason for this was an aesthetic one.

The double quotation mark is older than the single.

It derives from a marginal notation used in fifteenth-century manuscript annotations to indicate a passage of particular importance (not necessarily a quotation); the notation was placed in the outside margin of the page and was repeated alongside each line of the passage.

Most large newspapers have kept these „low-high” quotation marks, but otherwise the alternative form with single or double “English-style” quotes is now often the only form seen in printed matter.

Neutral quotation marks (" and ') are used widely, especially in texts typed on computers and on websites.

The elevated quotation marks created an extra white space before and after the word that was considered aesthetically unpleasing, while the in-line quotation marks helped to maintain the typographical color, since the quotation marks had the same height and were aligned with the lower case letters.) are also a development of the in-line angular quotation marks.

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