What the heck is “»” anyway?
You see it all over the graphics.com network, and if you surf other Jupitermedia sites, you'll see it there too. We've been using the symbol for quite a while now, but—I'm slightly embarrassed to say—it wasn't until it popped up on other sites (including one of the preeminent design blogs) did I wonder what the heck it is?
Microsoft has even incorporated the character into the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE 7):
For those of you who aren't familiar with the name of this chevron-shaped symbol, it is called the guillemet. According to Merriam Webster, the guillemet is "either of the marks « or » used as quotation marks in French writing."
According to Wikipedia's entry, guillemets are used in many languages to indicate speech, so perhaps many of you are familiar with the character (if so, I apologize for my ignorance).
The guillemet is rendered a few ways online. Some simply use two angle brackets, such as ">>", others use the ascii code equivalent », while a few even use ».
Web design usage seems to be consistent—an icon to help direct the reader to related content.
It's an appropriate, and even catchy, character for this purpose, but looking at some of the examples above, it seems dangerously close to being overused.
If you have more to add about this character that has achieved fresh ubiquity on the Web, do tell!