Re: Glyphs for German quotation marks

From: Andreas Prilop (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 03:41:32 CDT

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

       [ I restrict myself to single quotation marks. ]
       [ Everything is the same for double quotation marks. ]

    On Wed, 14 Jun 2006, John Hudson wrote:

    > Typography is determined by typographers and type designers,
    > not by standards committees (witness the euro symbol).

    But we do speak about code positions here: U+2018 and U+201B.
    This is a question of standards. You can make a Latin letter "g"
    according to your own taste, but you cannot put it into an
    arbitrary code position.

    Nobody objects to the *glyphs* in Verdana, I believe.
    The objection is against the abuse of code position U+2018.

    > Now, it may well be the case that some of the choices that
    > type designers make in the design of quotation marks may not be
    > desirable in a specifically German context. There is nothing
    > unusual about this: it is very rare for a single typeface to
    > work equally well for all languages, and following the Unicode
    > glyph charts doesn't make it so.

    You argument would be perfectly okay if we had only *two* (high)
    quotation marks: U+2018 and U+2019.
    However, we do have *three* (high) quotation marks:
    U+2018, U+2019, U+201B.

    The Unicode standard says:
      2018 left single q.m. = single turned comma q.m.
      2019 right single q.m. = single comma q.m.
      201B single high-reversed-9 q.m. = single reversed comma q.m.

    "turned" means "rotated", certainly not "mirrored".
    "reversed" means "mirrored".

    If you do not agree, please give us *your* definition of U+201B.

    > There are plenty of typefaces that I would not use to typeset German...
    > or French, or Czech, or even English.

    Remember: We are speaking of such prominent typefaces as Courier [New]
    and Verdana. Are you proposing that these should not be used for
    German and we have to find other typefaces? Why is there a German
    "" in these typefaces?

    > Now, OpenType does provide a mechanism for language specific
    > glyph variants, so it is entirely possible that a font might have
    > different forms for quotation marks for different languages,
    > thereby addressing your concerns.

    No, it is not about language specific glyph variants, but about
    code positions U+2018 and U+201B. The mechanism is provided by
    the Unicode standard. However, I think the design of the quotation
    marks in Verdana etc. is just lazy because current software
    (programs & keyboard layouts) does not provide access to U+201B,
    which is outside cp1252 and MacRoman.

    The glyph in Verdana is fine - but please use U+201B for it!

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