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Re: ASCII-only startup message?

From: Nikolai Weibull
Subject: Re: ASCII-only startup message?
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2015 15:59:00 +0100

On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:
>> > Any evidence for your claim that ' is in Unicode only for
>> > compatibility between "left single quotation mark" and "right
>> > single quotation mark"?  Do you think that is even the most
>> > common use case for ' in old-fashioned plain text, whether
>> > typewriter or computer?  ", yes, but '?  I don't think so.
>> Given the English’ propensity to still not use contractions, but to
>> use single quotation marks when quoting, it’s not as clear cut as you
>> suggest either.
> Sorry, but I don't know what that means, or how it relates to
> what you quoted from me.  Is there a propensity in English not
> to use contractions?  Maybe in some academic writing.  Not in
> general, to my knowledge.

My point is that the English will use single quotes a lot more than
Americans, given that they use them for the first level of quoting.
As they also tend to shy away from contractions, in far more areas
than academic writing, the factor between using the symbol we’re
discussing as a quoting device and as a means of displaying
contractions is also different.

> Are you arguing that you think that ' has been used mainly for
> quotation and not as an apostrophe?  Perhaps in Britain, where
> single quotation marks are apparently used at the top level,
> but not in the US, is my guess.  I think you will find relatively
> few uses of single quotation marks in American English, and
> relatively many uses of an apostrophe.  But it's not an important
> point.

I’m not arguing anything.  I just wanted to point out that what you
said is not true across the board, even when considering the same

> And I never said it was "clear cut" - I said "I don't
> think so", and I _asked_ what Per thought.

No, you asked, then you _told_ him what _you_ thought.  There’s a
rather large difference between the two in how I, as a reader,
interpret what you wrote, so even if you intended to say what you said
you intended, that’s not how a reader would understand it.

I didn’t reply to create further reasons for argument in this thread,
so I’m sorry if that’s been the result.  I think the point you’ve
raised in regard to U+2019 not being an especially well chosen
apostrophe is valid and that U+02BC was, perhaps, a better choice.  In
the end, they went with what was easier for software current at the
time to handle, thus falling victim for the same sins that their
forebears did.  That said, continuing to use the worst of the three
(U+0027) is not something that I agree with.

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