[tex4ht] Why tex4ht changes apostrophe to Right Single Quotation Mark?

William F Hammond gellmu at gmail.com
Tue Jan 9 18:38:00 CET 2018

Aside:  For representing the quoting things used with English in the GELLMU
didactic document type, there are names.  For example, <apos/> is
apostrophe, while <rsq/> is right-single-quote.  The syntactic translator
decides based on context which to use when ' (U+0027) is found in input.
Because that automatic decision is not fool-proof, the user can enter the
corresponding name, i.e., \apos or \rsq.  However, a backquote ` (U+0060)
in input is processed as <lsq/>, left-single-quote.  One could provide for
a parallel distinction of backquote and left-single-quote, but I did not
see usage of backquote in normal input.  The point of making such
distinctions is (1) to preserve meaning and (2) to enable different
end-format presentations when wanted.  (The keepers of Unicode seem to
think that there is no difference whatever between an apostrophe and a

As for backquotes to delineate strings, I was wary of downstream
propogation to contexts where backquote-delineated strings trigger command
evaluation, e.g, in shell scripts.  I gather from this thread that Matlab
must be using backquotes for string delineation.  There is at least one
other "big" mathematical program that used backquotes for strings in its
early years but then, more than a decade ago, abandoned that usage.

         -- Bill

On Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 1:09 AM, Michal Hoftich wrote:

> Hi Nasser,
> >> What do I need to do to keep apostrophe as apostrophe
> >> in the HTML?
> this is the default LaTeX behavior, you will get the quotation mark
> even in PDF. You may try to use the `upquote` package, which will fix
> this issue in verbatim.

William F Hammond
Email: gellmu at gmail.com
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