dread high-bit disease = D = DRECNET

Dread Questionmark Disease

n. The result of saving HTML from Microsoft Word or some other program that uses the nonstandard Microsoft variant of Latin-1; the symptom is that various of those nonstandard characters in positions 128-160 show up as question marks. The usual culprit is the misnamed `smart quotes' feature in Microsoft Word. For more details (and a program called `demoroniser' that cleans up the mess) see http://www.fourmilab.ch/webtools/demoroniser/.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Webpage Question Mark Bug

The more common question mark bug is just the opposite, as simulated by the other writeup on this node (in I'm and don't, or I?m and don?t as they appear on my screen). Microsoft software has an annoying habit of replacing your single quote marks with some high ASCII character which a few programs like Microsoft Word recognize as curly quotes but other stuff, including web browsers (sometimes even including Internet Explorer, depending on the font used to display the text) don't recognize, as it's not a legal character in an HTML file. As a result, the browser displays the ? character in place of the offending one.

The above writeup actually has real question marks in those words, so they will look like question marks on any browser. Thus, it's an ironic illustration of the real question mark bug, while the writeup has the description backwards and the cause attributed entirely wrongly.

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