Strange characters in FeedBurner

This is a problem that I have seen in a number of feeds and e-newsletters that I receive: the “” instead of extra space and “’” instead of slanted quote. I believe it has something to do with character set encoding (UTF and the like), but I have not found a clear answer.

Here is an example.  A WordPress post that has a text line that appears on the web site like:post-webview

I received the html-formatted email from Feedburner as follows:post-feedview

When I look at the html source, I see:post-source

The code is in a <p> with a couple of <div> tags – nothing unusual.  The document type is XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and the meta tags are:

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” dir=”ltr” lang=”en-US”>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />
<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=EmulateIE7″ />

The obvious work-around that suggests itelf:

  • avoid having 2 spaces in a row after a period between sentences
  • replace slanted quotes (left and right) with straight quotes
  • replace slanted apostrophes with straight apostrophes

If the article is being composed on Word (for example) this means that the auto-format option to “replace straight quotes with smart quotes” should be disabled.  In fact most of the auto-format options should be disabled, but that’s a question for another post.

In the meantime, I will investigate this issue to see if there is a better solution.

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