bugGNU roff - Bugs: bug #62638, maybe call U+0027 a "single...


bug #62638: maybe call U+0027 a "single quote" in some contexts

Submitter:  Dave <barx>
Submitted:  Thu 16 Jun 2022 03:36:02 AM UTC
Category:  General Severity:  1 - Wish
Item Group:  Documentation Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Sat 22 Apr 2023 07:32:36 AM UTC, comment #1: 

My gut feeling (not always to be trusted) is that "neutral apostrophe" is a term more for the typeset version of this character that doesn't really exist as such in traditional typesetting, but must be accommodated in modern technical typesetting because the character in those contexts can't be transformed to any traditional glyphs.

Bug #62816 and the recent "grout" discussion (http://lists.gnu.org/r/groff/2023-04/msg00040.html and the next 20 or so messages in the thread) show how much people love to offer opinions about terminology, so taking this to the list could prompt some lively discussion as well.

Dave <barx>
Group Member
Thu 16 Jun 2022 03:36:02 AM UTC, original submission:  

In bug #60836, I said:

I wonder whether, in a coding rather than a typesetting context, "neutral apostrophes" is a better descriptor than "single quotes."  Programmers are certainly more used to calling them single quotes; and even to noncoders, either term should be understandable.  Also, as delimiters for strings, they function semantically more as quotes than as apostrophes.

Branden reasonably counters, "I can use ["neutral apostrophe"] unambiguously in any context."  There's something to be said for consistent terminology, a point Ralph recently made.

On the third hand, Ralph's point was about consistency in usage between groff docs and the rest of the world, which might just as well argue in favor of the term readers are more used to in contexts of coding in other languages, most of which deem that character a single quote.

So whether anything should be changed is an open question.  I don't feel strongly about either term.

Dave <barx>
Group Member


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