A word in Steven's defense.

What Dave says is correct about typography.

However, what we use here (email, ordinary text
files, etc.) is not typography, nor do we have any 
way of rendering it as such (other than the system
many people use of substituting a backtick for a
left single quote and a single quote for a right
single quote).

If you're using MS Word or something else capable
of displaying typographic quotation marks, that's 
fine. But I do agree with Steven that it looks jarring
and intrusive to many people's eyes. In fact, I have
never seen this practice outside the computer industry.

Notice that in a "real" typeset book, a quote (single or
double) leans toward the thing being quoted. But the
single and double quotes that we use are vertical (" ')
showing that they serve as both left- and right-hand 
quotes.

There is the additional problem of not having a double-
backtick on the keyboard, so that people use two 
backticks for a left double quote. But then what do you
use for a right double quote? If you use a double quote, 
it looks unbalanced: ``Wow," she said. So many people
use two single quotes: ``Wow,'' she said. (Actually, in this
font on my Windoze machine, those do look the same. Odd!)

Anyway, the custom among certain hackers is to use the
backtick the backtick and the pair of backticks for left quotes.
But I don't believe there is a typing teacher (or a book or 
magazine publisher) who actually condones this, much less
teaches it. Go look it up in the _Chicago Manual of Style_ or
in any publisher's manuscript guidelines, and please correct
me if I am wrong.

There are millions of computer nerds out there, but we are not
the whole world; and in the real world, the quotes on the key-
board are intended for left and right quotes, as in:
He said, "She said, 'Go away.'"

So, I am not trying to get people to change, which would likely
be impossible; but let's at least recognize that 90% of the
world uses quotes the way Steven does.

Hal

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Dave Thomas <Dave / Thomases.com>
To: ruby-talk ML <ruby-talk / netlab.co.jp>
Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2000 10:17 AM
Subject: [ruby-talk:03007] Re: mismatched quotation


> "stevan apter" <apter / panix.com> writes:
> 
> > ruby documentation uses a punctuation convention i've never seen
> > before; namely, quoting with mismatched quotation marks:
> > 
> >     `quoted'
> > 
> > i find this quite distracting; my eye stutters everytime it passes
> > over something like this.  what's wrong with the standard
> > 
> >     'quoted'
> 
> Opening and closing single and double quotes are the correct
> typographic convention for printed material - have a look in most any
> book and you'll see
> 
>   ``Oh, Cedric,'' she cried.
> 
> (The name may change, depending on the book).
> 
> The Ruby FAQ and reference materials on rubycentral.com are both
> derived from an sgml or xml markup, and can be rendered as HTML,
> Postscript, PDF, and just about anything else we can find a translator 
> for. Because we have the potential for producing printed output, we
> following typographic guidelines.
> 
> 
> Having said all that, is you come across `string' within a code
> example, that's a bug ;-)
> 
> 
> Regards
> 
> 
> Dave
> 
> 
> 
>