W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > May 2006

Re: Deep nesting of quotes

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 01:32:43 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20060517233243.GA10558@ridley.dbaron.org>
On Tuesday 2006-05-16 15:48 +0400, Simon Montagu wrote:
> Simon Montagu wrote:
> 
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_marks says "Nesting levels up to 
> >five can be found in the Bible", but that doesn't much help finding 
> >examples
> 
> In fact some examples are given in a comment in the source of that page. 
> One is Jeremiah 34:1-5. See some versions in various languages at 
> http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2034:1-5;

Many of these actually don't use quotation marks (or don't use quotation
marks for all 3 levels).  And the Web site you give doesn't seem to
allow switching to some of them (or maybe it's just that it's randomly
giving a failure response some of the time due to timeouts).  The ones
I've found so far that do have quote marks (although I haven't tried
them all) are:

The New International Version uses alternation, starting with ", then ':

4 " 'Yet hear the promise of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah. This is
what the LORD says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; 5 you
will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honor of your
fathers, the former kings who preceded you, so they will make a fire in
your honor and lament, "Alas, O master!" I myself make this promise,
declares the LORD.' "

The New American Standard uses pretty much the same:

4"Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the
LORD concerning you, 'You will not die by the sword.

5'You will die in peace; and as spices were burned for your fathers, the
former kings who were before you, so they will burn spices for you; and
they will lament for you, "Alas, lord!"' For I have spoken the word,"
declares the LORD. 

(The New International Version - UK only uses quote marks for the middle
level.)


A passage in the New Testament (since I have that in my hotel room, and
was flipping through it) that has 3 levels of quotation is Matthew
22:43-45.

For what it's worth, that passage in the [en-GB] New Revised Standard
Version Bible: Anglicized Edition is:
# He said to them ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him
# Lord, saying, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until
# I put your enemies under your feet’”?  If David thus calls him Lord,
# how can he be his son?’
which is the reverse of the above and what you originally suggested.

The other languages in that same hotel bible (de, fr, nl) use at most
one level of quotation marks; they express the innermost and outermost
quotation marks appearing above using just a colon; the middle set use
quote marks in the German:
# [de, Luther] Er sprach zu ihnen: Wie kann ihn dan David im Geist einen
# Herrn nennen, wenn er sagt:  »Der Herr hat gesagt zu meinem Herrn: Setze
# dich zu meiner Rechten, bis daß ich lege deine Feinde unter deine Füße«?
# So nun David ihn einen Herrn nennt, wie ist er denn sein Sohn?
italics in the French, and indentation in the Dutch.  (Although the
German has interesting marks I don't know the Unicode codepoints for in
37 and 39.)


So it seems that which level (single or double) is outermost is a US vs.
UK difference (as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_marks says),
and that I was wrong about the normal convention for third-level quotes
in English (at least based on these examples).

-David

-- 
L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation

Received on Wednesday, 17 May 2006 23:32:56 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:45 GMT