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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday December 17, 2003
05:27 AM

Too Smart Quotes By Half

[ #16388 ]
Dear Log,

I've decided that the typographical flourish that we call smart quotes ( “double” or ‘single’ ) has got to go, simply because they're more trouble than they're worth. Since they're more trouble than they're worth, people just want to type the plain ' or " and have their word processor turn them into smart quotes -- except, of course, that the word processor can't get it right all the time and when it's wrong, people rarely notice, even people whose actual paying job it is to notice. Twice in the past week I've seen a smart open-quote used when an apostrophe (which can never look like a little "6") should have been there. Both times it was, in fact, the word «'round», and both times it was spelled «‘round». This wouldn't have annoyed me except that one of the times was in the Shocking Bad Hat Book by Jeffrey Zeldman; and not only is the Zeld Man very twee about typography and design, he had pointed out at several points in the book that ’ was a "typographically correct" apostrophe.

So since you smart-alec kids just can't use smart quotes right, we're just going to have to use ' and " instead. We just can't have nice things!

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  • em dash, en dash (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pne (661) on 2003.12.17 10:30 (#26634) Homepage Journal
    In that case, em and en dashes and ligatures should also be banned; I'm rather disappointed at the number of technical magazines that show command-line examples that look like foo –help rather than foo --help simply because some automatism replaced two hyphens with an en dash, or source code listing that uses ligatures such as variables called "[fi]le".
    --

    -- 
    Esli epei eto cumprenan, shris soa Sfaha.
    Aettot ibrec epesecoth, spakhea scrifeteis.

  • WP 5.1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vsergu (505) on 2003.12.17 16:10 (#26648) Journal
    Things were better back in the days of WordPerfect for DOS, when the ' key gave you an apostrophe (or right single quote) and the ` key gave you a left single quote. You had to go out of your way to mess up "'Twas the night before Christmas" or "class of '85", whereas nowadays you have to go through contortions to get them right.

    Of course, if you actually wanted a typewriter apostrophe or a backtick things weren't so easy, but then I didn't have much occasion to type code in WordPerfect.

    I'm surprised you didn't bring the `okina into the rant. If the Hawaiians wanted to use the Latin alphabet and only needed a handful of characters anyway, couldn't they have stuck to ones that other people were using?
    • I'm surprised you didn't bring the `okina into the rant. If the Hawaiians wanted to use the Latin alphabet and only needed a handful of characters anyway, couldn't they have stuck to ones that other people were using?

      I hate them SO MUCH. AND they just could NOT use circumflexes (or acutes or anything like that). God forbid. I hate them SOOOO much.

      • And then they want people to use the damn thing in the middle of English sentences. It's bad enough when they ask for an apostrophe. The English name for Hawaii is Hawaii, just like the English name for Mexico is Mexico. None of this Hawai`i or México unless you're writing Hawaiian or Spanish.

        Not to mention the people who say hah-WAH-'ee or hah-VAH-'ee instead of hah-WIGH-'ee. It's not spelled Hawa`i, so the other i is there for a reason.