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Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ffb6ce 5/5: Quoting fixes in lisp/internationa

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ffb6ce 5/5: Quoting fixes in lisp/international and lisp/leim
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 12:48:47 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Paul Eggert <address@hidden> writes:

> On 09/02/2015 10:43 AM, David Kastrup wrote:
>> ' is an_apostrophe_.  Changing it to an open single quote
>> mark in words like "don't" is utterly wrong
> I assume you meant “close single quote” not “open single quote”. (It
> would indeed be utterly wrong to transliterate apostrophe to open
> single quote, but Emacs doesn’t do that.)
> The initial version of the quote-tranformation code behaved as you
> suggested, and left isolated apostrophes alone.  But Dmitry pointed
> out that apostrophe in English is represented by right single
> quotation mark as standard typographic practice in fonts with directed
> quotes, so I changed Emacs to translate all non-escaped apostrophes.
> In practice most isolated apostrophes in docstrings and diagnostics
> are intended to be English apostrophes, so it seemed appropriate to
> transliterate them as in English, of course with an escape hatch for
> those intended to be Elisp apostrophes.
> For more about common practice with apostrophes in natural-language
> text, please see
> <http://www.languagegeek.com/typography/apostrophes.html>.

Hardly a reputable source, and they mix up encoding with representation

Looking up what the Unicode Consortium itself has to say about the issue
<URL:http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode8.0.0/ch06.pdf> tells us on
page 274:

    Punctuation Apostrophe. U+2019 right single quotation mark is
    preferred where the character is to represent a punctuation mark, as
    for contractions: \u201cWe\u2019ve been here before.\u201d In this
    latter case, U+2019 is also referred to as a punctuation apostrophe.

(by the way: is there any way to make Emacs stop this \u201c pasting
abomination when using C-y on an X Window selection?).  Well, the whole
world appears to have gone mad.  Why would they prefer a character
_explicitly_ called a right quote to a character called apostrophe when
writing an apostrophe?

But with regard to text processing (such as Word for Windows would do),
you clearly have the character set authorities on your side.  With most
of my (monospaced) work fonts, that is a clearly inferior choice since
the glyph disrupts the flow of words.

David Kastrup

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