double quote (double quote) = double quote
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. By the middle sixteenth century, printers (notably in Basel, Switzerland) had developed a typographic form of this notation, resembling the modern double quotation mark pointing to the right. During the seventeenth century this treatment became specific to quoted material, and it grew common, especially in Britain, to print quotation marks (now in the modern opening and closing forms) at beginning and end of the quotation as well as in the margin; the French usage (see under Specific language features below) is a survival of this.[clarification needed] In most other languages, including English, the marginal marks dropped out of use in the last years of the eighteenth century. The usage of a pair of marks, closing and opening, at the level of lower case letters was generalized.