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Re: <q>

From: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 13:10:48 +0000
Message-ID: <4126b3450810280610y68f01292w7bc4805fda177ada@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Olivier GENDRIN" <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com>
Cc: "Ben Boyle" <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
2008/10/28 Olivier GENDRIN <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com>

> On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 1:17 AM, Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Got a question ...
> > <p lang="en"><q lang="fr">Bonjour</q> he said.</p>
> > English or French quotation marks?
>
> Interesting use case. As far as the sentence is intended to be read by
> English speaking people, I think that they await for English
> typography marks, so English quotation marks would make sense. But If
> we had more nested quotations (French quoted into French quoted into
> English), the nested quotation would need French ones (in fact, it
> would need the quotation marks used into the outer quoted sentence).
>
> I think that quotation marks are not part of the quotation, but
> outside of it (:before and :after), so the @lang of the quotation mark
> is the @lang of the surrounding tag.
>

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (Thirteenth Edition is the one I
have to hand):

9.8 Note too that the remarks [elsewhere in the chapter] apply to foreign
punctuation in a foreign language context, that is, in an article or book in
that language. A bit of foreign language dialogue or a longer passage quoted
in a foreign language introduced into an English context would be punctuated
in English fashion, especially with regard to quotation marks:

"L'├ętat," said the Sun King modestly, "c'est moi."


So Olivier is essentially correct, at least in the case of a foreign
language being quoted in written English under CMS rules. It is possible
that other style guides would differ for English, and that other languages
might have different conventions altogether.

The great thing about having a quote element is that none of this is
problematic: the spec* can specify a default presentation (for instance,
adopting the CMS rule I've given above for cases where foreign languages are
quoted in English) but users who desire a different presentation can simply
make a style sheet tweak and - hey presto! - they've got all the
customisation they need.

I certainly think that for many use cases (e.g. where a corporate style
sheet has already been created), simply entering a <q> element tag would be
far less trouble for authors than having to manually look up the correct
rules in a style manual and manually type the correct character. The <q>
element would also, as I've pointed out in previous posts, permit houses to
change their styles far more easily than would be the case otherwise.

For these reasons, I think <q> is indispensable.

Sam

*As I've suggested above, the spec that defines these default presentations
need not be the HTML 5 spec. If it isn't the HTML 5 spec, then I think the
spec that *does* define the default presentations should be published in
advance of HTML 5's final publication round, so that the HTML 5 spec can
refer to it. Does this seem reasonable?
Received on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 13:11:34 UTC

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