Re: Wish List for New Spec

Walter Ian Kaye (
Wed, 27 Dec 1995 21:01:31 -0800

Message-Id: <v02120d01ad07c0eda3ab@[]>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 21:01:31 -0800
From: (Walter Ian Kaye)
Subject: Re: Wish List for New Spec

At 6:11p 12/27/95, Ben Breakstone wrote:

>I believe the absence of typesetter's (or "curly," or "smart") quotation
>marks from the english HTML entity set to be a grievous omission.

The entity names for curly quotes may be undecided as yet, but the decimal
codes (Unicode) are defined. Visit:


with a table-supporting browser to find out what they are.

>The second reason is semantic: typsetter's quotation marks carry much more
>information than the other kind.  The direction of single or double "smart
>quotes" indicates whether they begin or end a block of speech, or whether a
>single mark is acting as an apostrophe.  "Dumb quotes," on the other hand,
>provide no clue as to their context.

(flame on)
A number of Unix and WWW docs (and some people on this list) try to fake it
by using the ASCII grave accent mark as if it were a true left quote, but
in most typefaces this looks absolutely horrible and I get ill every time I
see it. :/
Such usage is both bad English and invalid programming syntax. I wish
people would stop doing this abomination, and I wish I could do a
worldwide, global search and replace on all existing docs that use this
awful hack. ::sigh::
(flame off)


    Walter Ian Kaye <>       | Excel | FoxPro | AppleScript |
          Mountain View, CA              |--------- programmer ---------|     |   Macintosh    |   Windows   |