Re: Glyphs for German quotation marks

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2006 - 15:12:21 CDT

  • Next message: Andreas Prilop: "Re: Glyphs for German quotation marks"

    I did not use Courier on purpose. So it's normal that it does not look nice when you view it in Courier
    My first example DID use Verdana, may be it's your email reader that strips part of the HTML.

    All my examples use fonts that display non-vertical double quotes. So all characters are distinct (only the font changes). All are consistent, even if the glyphs change from straigth line styles to curly styles.

    Note that Verdana style is not a pure straight line: the weights of the line IS thicker at the begining than at the end.

    All the glyphs are consistant between Arial, Verdana,Times NewRoman, and even with Courier. All these fonts allow making the distinction between the characters used. There's no ambiguity in which character was encoded and what it means in a particular national convention.

    So I completely disagree with your opinion: there's nothing wrong in Unicode or in the fonts you want to criticize.

    If not convinced, use a higher screen resolution, or zoom the texts, or print them on a high resolution printer: the only case where the distinction will be hard is that you attempt to render them at insufficient resolution where they may look very similar (but this is not a defect of Unicode, or of the fonts used!). The fallbacksto straight vertical quotes is possible for small characters at small resolutions.

    But don't say something is wrong when it is not. There are enough characters in Unicode and in common fonts to handle the localization you want, unless you want to use the wrong characters: the (ASCII) straight vertical quotes have NOT been designed to be mirrored but to be symetric and used either as opening or closing quotation marks undistinctly.

    And I don't need an ophtalmologist. My eyes make the difference between all these characters.

    Note: I did not specify in my message to which locale each example belongs to. This was made on purpose; You have the choice according to your locale conventions.

    Final note: you say that the example with Courier New is "not nice, not German" but the example with Verdana is acceptable because the quotes have anangle. But on my PC, both "Courier" and "Courier new"display the same angles for these characters as with the "Verdana" font.

    So, may be YOU need an ophtalmologist, or a font that does not pretend to be the original Verdana our Courier New. If you are using some free fonts for Linux, may be what you are seeing is the result of substitution where these fonts have been replaced by fallback fonts or emulation fonts that do not exhibit the differences. So may be you need to update your fonts. There's nothing wrong in the original Microsoft versions of these fonts.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Keutgen, Walter
      To: Philippe Verdy ; Andreas Prilop ;
      Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 8:57 PM
      Subject: RE: Glyphs for German quotation marks


      there is no font face definition for your first example. I see everything in Time New Roman.

      When I look at the source - using Courier New at present - I see:

      <LI><FONT size=5>"Example"</FONT> Not nice, not "German"
      <LI><FONT size=5>"Example"</FONT>
      <LI><FONT size=5>"Example"</FONT>
      <LI><FONT size=5>"Example"</FONT> Not nice, any language?

      and this is Verdana:

      "Example" Same as above, but small angle makes it less shocking

      and this is Arial:

      "Example" Arial has no problem, because it has vertical curly quotes as Times New Roman

      and this is Times New Roman


      So indeed for German, when one switches font, one must be careful and see whether the character used for closing a quotation must not be changed. It is not a design fault of an individual font but the designer's choice to make the quotes oblique. I think that those who do typesetting - pardon DTP - will care about taking the correct character from the begin and will not change the font in the middle of the work. They must be careful and have adequate system support if they mix fonts. CLDR is useless for such professionals.

      When publishing in HTML leaving the font choice to the reader, one should stick to the straight fallback quotes and apostrophes which are acceptable for all - so did the typewriters - and require nothing more than the standard keyboard for generation.

      Interested people receiving this e-mail in plain text should cut and paste it into a word processor and apply these fonts or/and similar ones to SEE what happens.

      I still owe an e-mail after comparison of printed media. I hope I have time this weekend.

      Best regards

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