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Re: [Groff] Smart quotes

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] Smart quotes
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 02:13:41 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Mon, Feb 05, 2001, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> > The macro set is designed for fiction writers, who have frequent need
> > of quotation marks, and for whom, in a text file, `` and '' are
> > visually disturbing, as are inline escape sequence and control lines
> > that break up a paragraph.
> Avoiding your question, would suitable single-character alternatives to
> `` and '' that aren't so disturbing combined with .char be helpful?

It's been considered, and rejected.  The aim of the macro set
is to allow writers to write ASCII files that are clear and
easily deciphered (visually) according to the standards of
normal English practice.  Groff must be able to do it's job
with minimal presence.

    @I love you,& he said.  @Will you marry me?&

just isn't as readable as

   "I love you," he said.  "Will you marry me?"


   ``I love you,'' he said.  ``Will you marry me?''

while legible, looks clunky, and has another drawback.  Editors,
publishers, and agents want manuscripts in "typewriter"
style, i.e. double spaced Courier (or equivalent), italics
underlined, etc.  Part of the macro set I'm writing is
designed to make production of typewriter-style docs easy,
while affording the flexibility to output the same docs in
beautifully typeset format.  ``...'' looks terrible in Courier.
Hence the need for "smart quotes."

I can't believe I'm the first person who's ever wanted/needed
smart quotes in groff.

Peter Schaffter
15, chemin Brunette, RR2 CP 406
Ste-Cécile-de-Masham (Québec)

A confirmed GNU/Linuxer. Sorry, I don't do Windows.

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