Re: Slinky in hand: Weird quotes at end, and why they happened

From: On-line Snack discussion (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 15:25:36 PST

Dear Nicholas,
Glad to see you are enjoying are online snacks.
I am reviewing all of your messages and am fixing the weird quote marks.

Nina Thayer
Snacktalk Moderator
3601 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123-1099

On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, Nicholas Bodley wrote:

> You might like to fix up the quotes at the end of the text. They
> might be Mac-specific; the leading quotes looks like the lowered
> German double-comma style, and the closing quotes are not quotes, but
> a 3/4 fraction! Use " for leading and trailing, or `` and '' (or ")
> for the closing quotes; looks awful, but it's the best we can do
> until Unicode becomes widespread. Btw, I like Macs.
> The author's character set was not quite compatible with Latin-1 (The
> Internet (HTML) standard for English and Western Euro. languages) or
> Microsoft's Windows-1252, not that I think anything should be
> compatible with the unique nonstandard code points in Windows-1252.
> Sorry if I mystify people; the whole story is rather long. Point is
> that computer text is stored and transferred as pure numbers; it's
> only because those numbers are fed to the proper program that they
> are interpreted as text. However, for the text to appear correctly,
> the composer and the reader have to agree on what specific visible
> letter, number, or other printable symbol corresponds to each number.
> However, not all possible numbers are defined, and a few are defined
> differently; these weird ones I'm squawking about are one such
> instance.
> In this case, typographically-good quotes that looked fine on the
> author's screen were assigned to numbers (code points) that are not
> standard. What I use is a de facto HTML standard (Latin-1, a.k.a. ISO
> 8859-1), but it lacks internationally-agreed-upon, typographically-
> good quotes. What it does have are t.-g. quotes that are only usable
> with compatible software that is not universally used, and sold by a
> big company that has on more than one occasion done some memorably
> nasty things.
> Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass.
> Please reply to
> Opera browser user, registered
> Autodidact and polymath to some extent

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