Re: “book end” or <enclosing characters> in most languages?

From: Ben Dougall (
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 07:52:09 EDT

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    thanks for the reply.

    On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 04:09 pm, Doug Ewell wrote:

    > Ben Dougall <bend at freenet dot co dot uk> wrote:
    >> does anyone know if characters giving a bracketing function are
    >> universal to most (all?) languages in use today?: any characters, or
    >> groups of chars even, that have an enclosing purpose, like quotes and
    >> brackets?
    > I think it is safe to assume that most, but not all, language/script
    > combinations (this is important) use some kind of quotation marks and
    > some kind of parentheses.

    you're saying the characters in question just may not be “ ” and ( )
    etc? different characters that do the enclosing. i was almost sure that
    that would be the case. also, as you said, the same opening and closing
    characters can vary from one language to another. ” can mean one thing
    in one thing in one language and another in another.

    >> any characters, *or groups of chars even*, that have an enclosing
    >> purpose

    the reason i said that bit is html and xml (i know they're not human
    languages and they're certainly not in the area i'm asking about) but
    they make heavy use of opening and closing - their structure is based
    on it - and i wondering is there any language that uses of more than
    one glyph for an open or close, like in xml and html? they have a group
    of characters that together mean open or close, like <title> and
    </title>. i can't think of anywhere that happens in english.

    also is this something that ever occurs, maybe in other
    languages/scripts does anyone know?: instead of a separate glyph being
    placed at the start and then another separate glyph placed at the end,
    to mark the open and close, the first glyph of the contained text being
    added to / modified and again at the end? << i'm just guessing here.

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