[XeTeX] Typographic question : quotation marks and apostrophes

Peter Baker psb6m at virginia.edu
Thu Dec 15 20:54:15 CET 2011

On 12/15/11 2:34 PM, Jonathan Kew wrote:
> Not particularly relevant. The "full stop" or "period" that ends a sentence is semantically different from the "decimal point" that punctuates numbers. That doesn't mean we have separate character codes for them. From a character-encoding point of view, they're the same character; they just happen to have multiple uses.
> JK
Just now I'm holding a book printed London 1960: like most English books 
printed at the time it uses single curly quotes for quotations. But also 
like most older printed books (at least back to the eighteenth century), 
the *spacing* of quotation marks and apostrophes is quite different, the 
closing quotation mark having a much wider left sidebearing than the 
apostrophe when it follows an alphabetic character (there's less space 
when it follows a mark of punctuation).

You don't often find this kind of spacing in contemporary books, but 
it's hard even to have the option to do this kind of old-fashioned 
typography when the apostophe and the closing quotation mark are the 
same glyph. We'd have to kern each instance manually.

That said, it's pretty clear that we're stuck with what the Unicode 
Consortium has decreed for us.

Peter Baker

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