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Re: Expected behaviour of quotation marks

From: Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni@mail.huji.ac.il>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 11:47:03 +0300
Message-ID: <CACtNa8unm-h5ydxYNinqATawicPfbAypXU-1_aFHELLOAnXDqQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, www International <www-international@w3.org>
In Hebrew, the punctuation rules of the Academy of the Hebrew Language say
that when foreign text is embedded in Hebrew text, the quotation marks are
to be used according to the foreign text. However, this talks about the
placement of the marks with regards to direction, rather than their shape.

Strangely, their web page that details the punctuation rules itself seems
to be using quotations inconsistently; I emailed them.

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2016-04-06 21:48 GMT+03:00 <ishida@w3.org>:

> This is a question about how quotation marks should behave in multilingual
> text.
> Typically British English uses ' for a simple quotation, such as:
> Mr. Emerson says 'You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you
> can never pull it out of you'.
> Let's call these the primary quotation marks.
> And for a nested quote British English uses ", such as:
> But Lucy replies: 'Give George my love – once only. Tell him, "Muddle."'.
> Let's call these the secondary quotation marks. (And by the way, i know
> that in the US they do it the other way around, but i and this book are
> British.)
> In Canadian French this could be written:
> Mais Lucy répond: «Embrassez George de ma part - seulement une fois.
> Dites-lui, ‹Embrouille.› ».
> Now, if we mix languages, i think we would end up with:
> Mais Lucy répond: «Give George my love – once only. Tell him, 'Muddle.' ».
> Or would it be?
> Mais Lucy répond: «Give George my love – once only. Tell him, "Muddle." ».
> In other words, i'm suggesting that the outermost quotation marks belong
> to the language of the paragraph, rather than the quotation, and that the
> innermost quotes would be those of the language of the quotation. But i'm
> also wondering whether the innermost quotes should use the primary or
> secondary quotation marks.
> I'm hoping that there are some people on the lists to which i'm sending
> this who know the/an answer to this question. Once i have that, as long as
> it doesn't descend into a muddle, i will venture to apply it to the
> description of the behaviour of the q element in html5, to see whether
> there's a match.
> thanks in advance,
> ri
Received on Thursday, 7 April 2016 08:47:52 UTC

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