Apostrophe

Apostrophe

Post by Thierry Bouch » Sat, 18 Mar 2000 04:00:00




> This is not a proper table of ISO 8859-1. Better look instead at

>   http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/Unicode-ASCII.gif

> which shows what the ASCII etc. tables *really* look like in all the
> recent ANSI/ECMA/ISO/Unicode standards.

Well, Unicode only dealing with charachters, it's up to the font
designer to affect what glyph she wants to what slot! As the "straight
ascii single quote" has no known usage, i don't see the point in
putting that glyph anywhere into an actual font (except as a nice way
for pseudo-typographers to demonstrate their incompetence when using
some dumb wysiwyg softwares...).

Th. B.

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Jukka Korpel » Sat, 18 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:>The most important bit is that authors should *not* use the ASCII
>characters 0x27 and 0x60 as pairs of opening and closing
>quotation marks, because that's what they stopped looking like
>on most systems.

Agreed, but on different grounds: the _meaning_ of 0x60 (U+0060) as
defined in character set standards is 'grave accent'. It is true that
the character has little if any use in its original meaning, but it
has then been taken to secondary uses (e.g. as a "backquote" in some
command or programming languages). It just adds to the confusion if it
is arbitrarily used for other purposes. Some notes on the grave
accent: http://www.hut.fi/u/jkorpela/latin1/3.html#60

Quote:>Even in X11 fonts the straight ANSI/ISO/Unicode
>apostrophe on 0x27 is now being introduced.

Interestingly, it seems to me that IE displays or prints the
apostrophe sometimes as vertical, sometimes as curly, with no apparent
logic. The vertical display is the correct one. Admittedly the curly
one is often nice and what the author really wanted, but it's still
incorrect: the apostrophe is defined as a character with a vertical
glyph (yes, the Unicode standard says that - it usually does not
comment on glyph appearance, but here it does).

Quote:>If you want to have a
>proper curly apostrophe or right quotation mark, then you have to
>use the Unicode character ’ which is intended for exactly
>that purpose.

Correct, but in practical HTML authoring, ’ is certainly to be
preferred at present - it has a fair chance of getting displayed
correctly under favorable circumstances. (I was surprised at seeing
that IE 5 actually supports the hexadecimal notation too. But Netscape
4.5 doesn't for example.)

Usual caveats apply - one needs to weigh the better typographic
appearance (and more logical use of characters) against the practical
risk of making an HTML document messy in this respect. Using an
apostrophe is _safe_. My advice is to use characters like ’ only
if there is some _other_, more compelling reason to use &#bignumber;
references. It might be acceptable to reduce universal readability if
you need to be able to present a wide repertoire of characters (say,
mathematical and other special symbols), but _merely_ typographic
reasons are not good enough, IMHO. (Unless your document is _about_
typography or the use of punctuation characters.)

(On the other hand, I think was a very unfortunate decision by the
Unicode consortium to define the punctuation apostrophe to be the same
character as the right single quotation mark. They are logically quite
distinct characters and occur in similar contexts too.)
--
Yucca, http://www.hut.fi/u/jkorpela/
Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio.

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Alan J. Flavel » Sat, 18 Mar 2000 04:00:00


[much with which I agreed]

Quote:> (On the other hand, I think was a very unfortunate decision by the
> Unicode consortium to define the punctuation apostrophe to be the same
> character as the right single quotation mark. They are logically quite
> distinct characters and occur in similar contexts too.)

I think so too.

And an HTML-specific issue (f'ups narrowed), it's a great pity that
browser makers didn't take up the HTML+/HTML3.0 idea of having a
<Q>...</Q> markup, which the client agent would render with the best
pair of quotation characters that it had at its disposal and according
to the appropriate language/locale rules.

But at this late stage, where <Q> markup is just as likely to
disappear without trace, the markup is so good as unusable in a WWW
authoring context, unfortunately.

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Kai Hennings » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00




> > > http://www.htmlhelp.com/reference/charset/iso032-063.html shows ISO
> > > 8859-1 character 39 to be a nice-looking, curvy apostrophe. That
> > > page displays it using a .GIF file. But Netscape 4.61 displays that
> > > character as a vertical mark.  Why the difference?

> This is not a proper table of ISO 8859-1. Better look instead at

>   http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/Unicode-ASCII.gif

> which shows what the ASCII etc. tables *really* look like in all the
> recent ANSI/ECMA/ISO/Unicode standards.


> > In the original ASCII-1968 character set standard, 96 and 39 were
> > intended as a corresponding open-quote/close-quote pair, but in the
> > early 1980's or thereabouts, some ANSI standard or other suggested
> > that 39 should be a vertical (or "neuter") single quote, while 96 was
> > redefined as a "spacing grave accent" (whatever that means).

I don't think I have *ever* seen a table for ASCII or related sets where '  
was *not* supposed to be straight.

Kai
--
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/
"... by God I *KNOW* what this network is for, and you can't have it."

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Kai Hennings » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:> (On the other hand, I think was a very unfortunate decision by the
> Unicode consortium to define the punctuation apostrophe to be the same
> character as the right single quotation mark. They are logically quite
> distinct characters and occur in similar contexts too.)

Historical accident. Unicode and even ISO 10646 *MUST* be as compatible  
with ASCII as possible, for a number of technical and political reasons.

It might have been a nicer charset without that requirement, but it would  
probably also have been dead as a doornail.

Kai
--
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/
"... by God I *KNOW* what this network is for, and you can't have it."

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Alan » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

>  http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html

>The most important bit is that authors should *not* use the ASCII
>characters 0x27 and 0x60 as pairs of opening and closing
>quotation marks, because that's what they stopped looking like
>on most systems. Even in X11 fonts the straight ANSI/ISO/Unicode
>apostrophe on 0x27 is now being introduced. If you want to have a
>proper curly apostrophe or right quotation mark, then you have to
>use the Unicode character &#x2019; which is intended for exactly
>that purpose.

Problem is that I don't have a key on my keyboard that generates
&#x2019; whereas I do have a '. Even more so the `, which is another 8
character code for the lquote.

Which idiots decided that we need access to the grave accent and foot
mark more than we need normal punctuation used in almost every
sentence of text written?

Why on earth didn't they put the grave and foot mark on the weird
placing and allow people to use a convenient key for a normal
character?

This is not a trivial matter*. Has anyone noticed that in more and
more typesetting you now see ' instead of rquote, and even " instead
of l & r doublequote? Even on expensive large colour print ads, and
book covers? It's because the quotation marks needed for normal text
aren't where people expect them to be. A related degradation is the
use of hyphens instead of dashes. Why do I have `'[]{}<>~^_|\ on my
keyboard? Because they're used by computer programmers. That's
convenient for the 1% of the population using computers who program.
The rest can't find the normal characters used in writing English
because some geeks don't know or care about typography, but had the
arrogance to design the character sets that have to be used for it.

*If you care about type

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Denni » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:> Why do I have `'[]{}<>~^_|\ on my
> keyboard? Because they're used by computer programmers. That's
> convenient for the 1% of the population using computers who program.
> The rest can't find the normal characters used in writing English
> because some geeks don't know or care about typography, but had the
> arrogance to design the character sets that have to be used for it.

Sounds like you've designed a market niche. Why don't you develop
and patent a keyboard for type geeks. I vote to keep the *greater than*,
*less than*, because I often use them to convey a lack of seriousness.
<grin>
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Apostrophe

Post by Jan Roland Eriksso » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



>Which idiots decided that we need access to the grave accent and foot
>mark more than we need normal punctuation used in almost every
>sentence of text written?

Maybe the same "idiots" that recognized the fact that
people of anglo-saxon origin and native language are
a minority in this world :-)

I can promise you that in everyday Swedish typing
accent's are used quite often.

We have words like  id  (meaning "idea")
just to pick one out of a bunch.

If you where to write just  ide  it would mean
a place where bears sleep through the winter ;-)

...

Quote:>Why do I have `'[]{}<>~^_|\ on my keyboard?
>Because they're used by computer programmers.
...
>The rest can't find the normal characters used
>in writing English because some geeks don't
>know or care about typography,

Take this free tip for your Win machine at least.
Get hold of a keyboard with a Swedish key layout,
install the appropriate driver for that and I think
you will be happy to find your typographical keys
to be in quite comfortable places.

You would still have full and direct access to all of
the "programmers" keys of course since on our keyboards
there is a separate key to the right of the space bar
named "Alt Gr" and several of our keys have a third
legend on them that gets activated by "Alt Gr"


As third legend on: < 2 3 4 7 8 9 0 + (non shift)
                    > " # / ( ) = ? ^ (shifted)

--

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Andreas Pril » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00




Quote:> We have words like  id  (meaning "idea")
> just to pick one out of a bunch.

This is OK but the stupid German, Spanish, Swedish ... keyboard layouts
tempt people to type    instead of  ' . A much better idea would be
to have  '  as a dead key and to type  ' + e ->  instead of
+ e -> .

--
Change "invalid" to "de" in e-mail address.

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Eric Fische » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



> I don't think I have *ever* seen a table for ASCII or related sets where '  
> was *not* supposed to be straight.

Well, then, you haven't seen the tables beginning October 29, 1963,
when ISO TC 97/SC 2 altered character 2/7 so that it could serve
either as an apostrophe or as an acute accent.

eric

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Andreas Pril » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00




> Well, then, you haven't seen the tables beginning October 29, 1963,

                                                                ^^^^

Was that A.D. or B.C.?  ;-)

--
Change "invalid" to "de" in e-mail address.

 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Jukka Korpel » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00





>> (On the other hand, I think was a very unfortunate decision by the
>> Unicode consortium to define the punctuation apostrophe to be the same
>> character as the right single quotation mark. They are logically quite
>> distinct characters and occur in similar contexts too.)

>Historical accident. Unicode and even ISO 10646 *MUST* be as compatible  
>with ASCII as possible, for a number of technical and political reasons.

So? They are compatible with ASCII in this issue simply because the
apostrophe character has its traditional position in them. This does
not prevent from defining other characters in other positions (outside
the ASCII range of course) for less ambiguous usage. In particular,
the punctuation character is already there. Whether it's distinct from
some other character (outside ASCII) does not affect compatibility
with ASCII.
--
Yucca, http://www.hut.fi/u/jkorpela/
Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio.
 
 
 

Apostrophe

Post by Dave Fawthro » Sun, 19 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

> By the way, the new Unicode 3.0 standard, which discusses among
> many other things also the history and semantics of the curly
> and straight apostrophe in detail in section 6.1, has just
> been published:

>   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201616335/mgk25

For people in England like Markus it is also on
Amazon.co.uk:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201616335/qid=953415008/sr=...
-2942823-7630214

Using Amazon in America costs the earth and takes forever :-(

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