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Re: [Groff] [patch] Typographic quotes in -mdoc %T

From: Anthony J. Bentley
Subject: Re: [Groff] [patch] Typographic quotes in -mdoc %T
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 10:37:03 -0700

Ralph Corderoy writes:
> Hi,
> Carsten mentioned man pages appearing with ``ugly'' doubled single
> quotes, as if it were ugly TeX input.  ;-)  I think some of that might
> be down to the man page authors rather than groff's rendering of
> correctly written man pages.
>     $ zgrep '``' /usr/share/man/man1/find.1.gz
>     exist, it is truncated.  The file names ``/dev/stdout'' and
>     ``/dev/stderr'' are handled specially; they refer to the standard
>     $ 

Well, `` and '' get rendered as typographic double quotes in troff, but
at least in my setup nroff outputs them literally.

Because of that I don't know of a way to specify typographic quotes in
man(7) input aside from ugly escape sequences like \(lq and \(rq. In
general I only write mdoc(7) pages, and there I use Dq when I need
double quotes.

Should nroff render `` '' as typographical double quotes instead of
literal ASCII values? Maybe, but there's a lot more down that rabbit hole.
Haven't there been discussions about \- (apparently an en dash/minus in
troff, ASCII hyphen-minus in nroff) and - (apparently hyphen in troff,
ASCII hyphen-minus in nroff) before?

Anthony J. Bentley

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