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groff(7): ESCq: slanted quote (closing quote)

From: Alejandro Colomar
Subject: groff(7): ESCq: slanted quote (closing quote)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2022 17:08:52 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.1.0

Hi Branden,

After Ingo mentioned \N'9' for writing a tab (ASCII HT), I read the docs about it, which surprisingly show:


Caused by:

.de ESCq
.  Text "\f[CB]\e\\$1\[cq]\f[]\,\f[I]\\$2\/\f[]\f[CB]\[cq]\f[]"

I guessed groff(1) expects one to use unslanted quotes, and that pasting that would fail, but it doesn't; the following page unexpectedly works:

.TH a b c d
.SH Slanted
.SH Unslanted

I then found the following, which would document this:

       '      [...]

              As a second task, it is the most commonly used ar‐
              gument separator in  some  functional  escape  se‐
              quences  (but  any  pair of characters not part of
              the argument do work).  [...]

On one hand, it is nice to show that one can use anything as the argument separator in those escape sequences. On the other hand, it seems a bit confusing to me (but not so much that I couldn't find it myself). Was it on purpose? Is it a portable thing? If not, it might be better to show examples with \(aq.



Alejandro Colomar

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