[XeTeX] Typographic question : quotation marks and apostrophes

Tobias Schoel liesdiedatei at googlemail.com
Sat Dec 17 18:40:19 CET 2011

On 17.12.2011 15:10, mskala at ansuz.sooke.bc.ca wrote:
> On Sat, 17 Dec 2011, Tobias Schoel wrote:
>> So we're back to the days, where one had to use escape sequences for quotation
>> marks (\glq,\grq,"',"`,…) as though unicode had not included u2019.
>> Even worse, because with OpenType some font designers might include
>> substitution rules which include white space at font level. So, as an author,
>> I have to bear in mind, that for one font I need to define \englishrightquote
>> as u202f+u2019, and for other for another font I need to define it simply as
> It has always been the case that if you want an effect different from what
> was designed into the font, you had to do extra work.  Letterpress shops
> used to have special tools for cutting and filing bits off of the metal
> type sorts in order to do special positioning of glyphs.  There are some
> nice photos here:
>    http://blog.typoretum.co.uk/2009/04/01/cutting-in-letterpress-accents/
> It shouldn't be surprising that if you want to use a font other than in
> the way its designer intended, that requires some extra work and that that
> extra work is different on a per-font basis.

Hmm, perhaps I was only thinking that u2019 and u0027 should be 
different. I still don't get, why prime (u2032) and apostroph (u2019 as 
is preferred to u0027) are different although right single quotation 
mark and apostroph are equal.

Of course, one has to do own work, if the font designer hat another 
point of view regarding his font. But if apostroph and right single 
quotation mark were different, then font designers could create fonts, 
in which quotation marks have some extra white space (for me they often 
seem too close to the letters) and apostrophs have some less wite space 
(for me, they often seem to stretch the letters in one word too far). 
(Or if not font designers, than the creators of the typesetting engines 
could insert some kerning (like with french spacing).)



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