Re: Glyphs for German quotation marks

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 18:57:02 CDT

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: Glyphs for German quotation marks"

    Andreas Prilop wrote:

    >>The Unicode code charts do not 'recommend' designs.
    >>They show sample glyphs from one particular typeface.

    > I am strongly convinced that

    > U+2018 is a rotated apostroph
    > U+201B is a mirrored apostroph

    > If you do not agree, then please explain us *your*
    > definition of U+2018 and U+201B.

    I don't disagree with this. The problem, as I have explained it, is a design question
    regarding differentiation. Consider:

    When the quote marks are of the 6 9 variety, you have three characters and three
    differentiated glyphs.

    When the quote marks are of the \ / variety, you have three characters but only *two*
    differentiated glyphs.

    In the latter case, it is obvious that two of the characters are going to end up sharing
    the same glyph shape. So which two character should it be.

     From a German perspective, it should be U+2018 and U+2019, because you want your quoted
    text to begin with a low / and end with a high /.

    In an English perspective, one is likely to want differentiate the opening and closing
    quotes in some way, so it is preferable to begin with a high \ and end with a high /. As I
    wrote earlier, one sees this not only in type design but also in handwriting.

    So I see this very much as a question of language glyph preference, since I don't think it
    is reasonable to ask English etc. users who want an opening \ quote mark when using a
    particular font to enter a totally different character code from what they normally enter
    to get a 6 quote mark when using a another font. What happens if they want to switch
    fonts? Should they have to run search and replace functions on their document?

    Note: in the case of fonts like Verdana, Tahoma and Courier New, the actual quote glyphs
    are not perfectly monolinear, but are actually wedge shaped, but as Adam noted these fonts
    were all designed around low resolution use, in which context the marks are monolinear at
    typical text sizes.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget
    that words are the daughters of earth, and that things
    are the sons of heaven.  - Samuel Johnson

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