[texhax] correct spacing between adjacent quote marks

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Sun Oct 25 07:55:52 CET 2009

On  25 Oct, 2009, at 01:10, P. R. Stanley wrote:

>>>>        Paul: The question concerns the correct amount of  
>>>> horizontal spacing
>>>> between a single quote and a double quote mark. for example,
>>>> ``\thinspace`bla bla'\thinspace''
>>>> `\thinspace``rabit rabit rabit''\thinspace'
>>>> or is it
>>> \thinspace is a bit too large, IMO.
>> Of course one can make additional kerning spaces à la \thinspace. I
>> usually use two extra positive thin spaces:
>> \def\fino{\kern 0.1em }
>> \def\finito{\kern 0.05em }
>> (\fino from Spanish ``thin'' and \finito from ``very thin'')
>> and one negative:
>> \def\finoneg{\kern -0.1em }
>        Paul: Where would you use the negative thin spacing? I'm not  
> quite sure of the concept of negative spacing, so any furhter  
> clarification would be much appreciated.

For example, with some fonts, between a ^{\circ}, for degrees, and a  
comma or dot (but not colon or semicolon): $180^{\circ}$\finoneg.

> Incidentally, the above demos were inspired by Knuth's TeXBook. He  
> uses \thinspace between the single and double quote marks but if you  
> say the gap is too large then ...

It was Reinhard Kotucha who said that in

> `\thinspace``rabit rabit rabit''\thinspace'

\thinspace looked to him too large. I think it depends on each font  
design ---with some fonts it might look OK; with other fonts maybe a  
thinner space might be necessary; and perhaps with another font no  
thin space is required at all.

I remember a long discussion about it in the MinionPro mailing list. I  
tried the examples presented with InDesign, and discovered that the  
cases some people were complaining about looked the same in InDesign  
as in LaTeX; so it was the original design of the font, not the  
metrics created by the MinionPro project people.



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