Re: Historic versus modern ASCII quotes

From: Alex Bochannek (
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 03:51:05 EST


I find you Web page regarding the use of quotation marks very
interesting, but found it to be somewhat anglo-centric. I recently
felt compelled to research the proper use of quotation marks in
English and German and came up with the following results. I apologize
if this has been discussed before.

In German a quotation opens with a low "99" or "9" (0x201E and 0x201A)
and ends with a high "66" or "6" (0x201C and 0x2018.) In English you
open whith a high "66" or "6" and close with a high "99" or "9"
(0x201D and 0x2019). In French you use the angle quotes 0x00AB and
0x00BB which are used in the opposite order in German (where they are
used sparingly.) German example sentence:

Sie sagte: »Das hast du schön gemacht!«

I suspect that in French the single angle brackets (0x2039 and 0x203A)
are also used for quotations within quotations but I have never seen
them in English or German.

In the context of your Web page, I think it is interesting to note
that I have seen German ASCII text before which used a repeated comma
to mimic the low "99".

I am curious to find out who uses the reversed high "9", "99", and
prime marks that are listed in the General Punctuation block.


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