2

I had originally posted this on the Webapps site from stack exchange, but didn't get any response, so I thought I'd try here as well.

I sent out an email recently that gave the wrong character representations. The email itself is a newsletter sent out through Gmail and the issue doesn't seem to happen too often. The recipient sent me the email he received (he had read it on an iPad).

For example, the following text:

After Sri Lanka’s experiment with protectionism under the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the 1970s failed, Wickremesinghe’s uncle, former President J.R. Jayawardena, initiated a massive liberalization drive in 1977, following a landslide election victory.

was displayed as:

After Sri Lanka=E2=80=99s experiment with protectionism under the Sri Lanka= Freedom Party in the 1970s failed, Wickremesinghe=E2=80=99s uncle, former President= J.R. Jayawardena, initiated a massive liberalization drive in 1977, following =E2=80=8B=E2=80=8B a landslide election victory.

The way this mail was done is, first I made the mail on my personal Yahoo account and sent it to a company Gmail account. It was forwarded from the Gmail account to this recipient.

When I checked my sent mail on Yahoo, everything looked fine. However, I noticed that the raw message had this strange formatting everywhere.

I have no idea what could have caused it though. A little googling told me that it might be that Content-Transfer-Encoding is set to quoted-printable. When checking the email headers, it is in fact set to quoted-printable

The rest of the email headers are as follows (sensitive info has been ...-fied):

MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: by 10.200.58.130 with HTTP; Mon, 3 Jul 2017 19:08:12 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2017 07:38:12 +0530
Delivered-To: fr...ma@gmail.com
Message-ID: <CABwGrnBtUxcF5gyyW=6DyBy1r6nH3p0QATwFKtVUUs2Jttaoew@mail.gmail.com>
Subject: Second Update - 04.07.2017
From: T... T... <fr...ma@gmail.com>
To: f... <fr...ly@googlegroups.com>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="001a11455b06085fd30553745b69"

--001a11455b06085fd30553745b69
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Any idea what went wrong or how I could fix it?

2
  • Does the raw message contain Sri Lanka=E2=80=99s or Sri Lanka=3DE2=3D80=3D99s? Also, could you post the raw headers of the received message – does it have the same Content-Transfer-Encoding header?
    – user1686
    Aug 4, 2017 at 10:30
  • I am so sorry for the very late reply, @grawity ! Thank you so much for your quick response. The raw message contains Sri Lanka=E2=80=99s in it's text. I'm afraid I don't have the full raw headers of the received message, but what the recipient forwarded me had this at the top of it: --001a1146ef9c6f43600553745db7 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Aug 29, 2017 at 6:05

1 Answer 1

5

I know this comes very late, but perhaps it will be of use to someone out there. E2 80 99 is the sequence of hex values that encode a right single quotation mark (’) in UTF-8. Someone was getting imaginative and used it (probably because they liked the look of it or mistakenly copied the wrong character from a table) instead of an apostrophe ('), which would have been the correct character. The single quote is part of an extended character set that depends on the reader having the proper setting. The apostrophe is part of the basic ASCII set and should display properly no matter what the setting. Always best to stick with the basics unless there's a need for the extended set.

When this sort of thing happens, check the help for your application to see if you can change the character set in order to display it properly.

Best of luck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.