So yesterday I was trying to style a blockquote element on a landing page and I wanted to use the cool technique Chris Coyier emphasized at Front End Design Conf this summer to accomplish it: CSS :before/:after pseudo elements.

The trouble is, I was trying to use the character entity for a left double quotation mark as the content, but it wasn't turning out right. Firefox was straight up ignoring the ISO code, and Chrome was rending the code as text.

I tried simply pasting the character in from Microsoft Word, but that only partly worked.

To anyone missing the issue here - it is that I was trying to use the ISO code for a left double quotation mark, which is different than a plain quotation mark. The plain quotation mark can be accomplished in HTML by typing the quotation button on the keyboard. But to achieve the double quotation mark - which is essentially the same thing except the former is a straight mark, and the latter is curved toward the text - you have to use the ISO code.

Back to my problem - the ISO code was generating...code.

I tweeted the issue and another friend from the conference, Mina Markham, showed me the answer: you have to use unicode or ASCII text.