Re: Expected behaviour of quotation marks

On 07/04/2016 09:12, Dave Cramer wrote:
> There's a mention of this in the CSS Generated Content Spec at [1]. See
> example 9 and the preceding note:

Thanks for the link, Dave.  The most interesting part of example 9 is 
actually a different case from the one i had mentioned, ie. it is:

Il disait: « Il faut mettre l’action en ‹ fast forward ›. »

which has the pattern A(A(B)), where A stands for one language, and B 
for another.

It seems quite logical to use ‹ around fast forward in this case, 
because the parens belong to the language of the text containing the 
quotation, which in this case is still French.

The case of Lucy and Mr. Emerson has the pattern A(B(B)), which 
introduces a secondary quotation mark inside text that has already 
switched language, and therefore presents a somewhat more interesting 

So far, most people have suggested that this should be written:

Mais Lucy répond: «Give George my love – once only. Tell him,  ‹Muddle.›».

following the rule that the form of the quotation marks ignores any 
change in language from that of the reader, so as not to avoid 
introducing visual confusion. Which seems reasonable - although i'd 
still like to hear from people who work for big publishing houses about 
what their style guides say.

The real difficulty starts when you begin marking things up. This is 
what i'm trying to get to.  If the html tag has lang=fr and the para is 
marked up like this:

<p>Mais Lucy répond: <q lang=en>Give George my love – once only. Tell 
him, <q>Muddle.</q></q>.</p>

and, if you use the styling suggested in the css-content spec, ie.

:lang(fr) > * { quotes: "« " " »" "‹ " " ›" }
:lang(en) > * { quotes: "“" "”" "‘" "’" }

you won't end up with

Mais Lucy répond: « Give George my love – once only. Tell him, ‹Muddle.› ».

you'll end up with

Mais Lucy répond: « Give George my love – once only. Tell him, ‘Muddle.’ ».

because the quotation is marked up for language.

Ok, so let's try applying the styling pattern recommended by the HTML5 
spec, which is (in slightly edited form):

:root:lang(en), :not(:lang(en)) > :lang(en) { quotes: '“' '”' '‘' '’' }

:root:lang(fr), :not(:lang(fr)) > :lang(fr) { quotes: '«' '»' '‹' '›' }

Now you end up with:

Mais Lucy répond: “Give George my love – once only. Tell him, ‘Muddle.’”.

To bring this in line with what most people are suggesting so far, it 
seems to me that the styling for q needs to be based on the language 
identified as that of the reader, only. In many cases, that's the 
language at the top of the page in the html tag.  In a bilingual page in 
French Canadian, however, the lang attribute you need may be somewhere 
further down the hierarchy, at some rather arbitray point, and may be 
difficult to identify.

Perhaps what we need is a CSS rule that says, 'If you're not inside a q 
element, then set the quotes per the language outside the quote; but if 
you are inside, ignore the language info.'

I'm not quite sure how to say that in selector-speak yet.


Received on Thursday, 7 April 2016 14:39:57 UTC