Re: Guillemets

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Jul 17 1998 - 12:55:19 EDT

Michael Everson noted:
> Ar 13:27 -0700 1998-07-16, scríobh John Cowan:
> >The *preferred* quote mark varies, yes, but what *is* a quote
> >mark is invariable. I would never mark quotations with guillemets,
> >but I recognize guillemets as quotation marks.
> Nunh unh, John. In many languages the quotation dash is used at the
> beginning of a quotation (usually direct speech, not other kinds of
> citation), and such dashes do not appear in pairs.

I think John's point was that the gullemets have the property of
being quotation marks, whether or not he uses them in a particular
locale. The same could be said of the quotation dash: it has the
property of being a dash and of being a quotation introducer,
regardless of whether a particular typographic tradition uses it.
The guillemets have the properties of being quotation
marks and being paired punctuation, regardless of whether
a particular typographic tradition uses them.

The thrust of this discussion is that such properties should not
be arbitrarily changeable by an LC_CTYPE enumeration, since they
inhere to the characters themselves and are not labile,
metamorphizing in each locale.


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