# [texhax] European quotation marks (quiz time)

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Fri May 1 14:26:49 CEST 2009

>Date: Fri, 01 May 2009 13:01:17 +0200
>From: Uwe Lück <uwe.lueck at web.de>
>At 18:07 10.04.09, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:
>>Just a suggestion (and not necessary), but why not give the glyphs their
>>correct name ? They are guillemets (glyphs), not guillemots (birds) ! ** Phil.
>
>According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillemets, Adobe Systems Inc.
>confesses to have initiated this mistake in the world of computer
>typesetting. An edit of April 11 has removed the speculation that it is
>too late to undo the mistake concerning compatibility, as it is so widely

In the upshot of the evidence I collected, the correct term is
"guillemotets" for "little birds of a species belonging to Uria or Cepphus
(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillemot) ...

Cheers;-)

Uwe.

>On the other hand, the German Wikipeda names "Möwchen" ("little seagulls")
>as a synonym in typography. I guess this is because they rather look like
>\$\prec\$ than like \$<\$, and rotating \$\prec\$ leftwards looks like the way
>of representing one of countless birds in the sky on simple drawings (as
>in comics).
>
>So my impression is that the "seabirds" thing is not so wrong. Note as
>well that they are also called "Gänsefüßchen" (little goose feet) in German.
>
>Rather, the epistemology of "guillemets" according to Wikipedia has much
>of an "origin myth" in my view. It is attributed to a printer and
>punchcutter *Guillaume le Bé*, 1525--1598, while the first known
>guillemets date from 1527. The German Wikipedia says that according to a
>handbook on French indeed some "Guilleaume" used guillemets in 1527