I've seen several edits recently where the only thing that was changed was converting "straight quotes" with “rounded ones”. Searching the EL&U site for directives about this, I didn’t come up with much (I noticed there are straight quotes in the FAQ though!), but I stumbled across a question about automatically converting quotes here on meta.
Many of the responses there point out that such automation would be prone to errors, so my suggestion would be this:
Can we not customise WMD to add the ability to insert each of the four rounded quotes (single and double) by clicking buttons on the toolbar above the answer textarea? (Obviously, the icons would need to be chosen carefully so they don’t cause confusion with the blockquote icon.)
That way, control would be in the hands of the user rather than some automated tool that makes mistakes. Furthermore, it would pre-empt having one’s posts edited just for the sake of replacing quotes. Having to remember to manually use awkward keyboard combinations to satisfy someone else’s sense of aesthetics (personally, I couldn’t care less whether they’re straight or round – let’s face it, our posts can’t by any stretch of the imagination be considered “formal writing”) is asking too much, in my opinion.
Would such a change to WMD be desirable or even feasible for EL&U, or would it only cause problems to split the code bases? (I’m assuming that adding this feature to all SE sites would probably not be desired.) Or could it be added as an option to the shared code, defaulting to off, but turned on for EL&U?