Re: apostrophes

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed May 24 2006 - 10:52:33 CDT

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: apostrophes"

    On 5/24/2006 12:45 AM, Kent Karlsson wrote:
    > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >> There seems to be some confusion around the term "alternate quotation
    >> marks". Some people apparently think that the term refers to different
    >> style of quotation marks, alternative quotations marks.
    >> (Several languages
    >> have to sets of quotation marks, one commonly used in books
    >> and another
    >> commonly used in newspapers, office documents, etc.) The
    >> misunderstanding
    >> is understandable, since the term is misleading.
    >> It would be better to call them "inner quotation marks". This
    >> would not
    >> match the idea of _alternating_ quotation marks, i.e. the
    >> idea that you
    >> have two pairs of quotation marks to be used alternatingly in nested
    >> quotations.
    > I agree. In addition, some of the CLDR data seems to indicate that
    > the current notions have also been misunderstood as "fallback quotation
    > marks", since so many entries use the ASCII quotation marks.
    > - quotation marks
    > - inner quotation marks
    Being explicit about the idea of outer and inner is helpful - unless
    someone can come up with an example where the relation between outer and
    inner is ambiguous in the same cultural context.

    > - alternate quotation marks
    > - alternate inner quotation marks
    This is still ill-defined. "Book style" is not correct since books may
    use both the primary and (one of possibly multiple) alternate forms of
    quotation marks. I suspect that the convention for outer and inner show
    even greater variability in the publishing context. One reason is that
    many publishers use conventions such as a ------ at the beginning of a
    statement, instead of quotes, so that any "inner" quotes would appear as
    outer level.

    Nevertheless, the fact that conventions appear to systematically differ
    between >> << and << >> to give just one example, makes it worthwhile to
    document these alternatives.

    The proper design of a data format for these would allow fields that
    describe the context of use, as well as an attribute that designates
    whether quotation marks appear as outer or inner (or both).

    Context fields would be: default, national norm, standard document,
    newspaper, book etc.
    and more than one context could apply. Alternatively, the listing could
    be repeated, once for each different context for which information has
    been gathered.

    Usage field values would be: inner, outer, both, with only one value
    allowed. Instead of allowing 'both', the listing could be repeated, if
    > would be suitable to give data for. I don't think there's a need for
    > specifying
    > fallback quotation marks, since that is an entirely different issue.
    Fallback doesn't make any sense, unless it's well-defined. One
    definition might be the closest characters that are available on input
    devices for the locale.
    Usually those would be " and '. Do any keyboards have the guillemets? If
    not, do people use << or something else. This latter question is almost
    the only interesting one.

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