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    I feel dirty even admiting this:

    Nothing worse than copy/pasting code from the web that has curly quotes (for whatever reason) instead of straight quotes. After pasting, in Visual Studio, the quotes look like straight quotes, but are actually curly. Compiler barfs and it’s not ever obvious.

    AKA: double-glitch; snakebite; dieresis; dirk; rabbit-ears; double prime.

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      I can’t stand tiny font size in my editor. Larger font = less visual fatigue = less mental fatigue. Even though I can actually see tiny fonts it’s just so much more pleasant using large font size.

      With tiny font the problem of differentiating between similar character is exacerbated.

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        I have seen that happen on blogs that have auto-quote plugins that end up mangling code blocks. So you cut & paste the code block & nothing works because the quotes are wrong.

        The UI in VS issue is presumably a font problem? ’ and ‘ should look (slightly) different.

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        i found the first example pretty ironic, insofar as to my eye the ugliness of

        “this” versus “this.”

        pales in comparison to the ugliness of

        “this.” versus “this”.

        non-logical punctuation is a relic of a bygone day that i wish the internet would kill off.

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          That always bothered me too - I thought I was the only one.

          E.g. Is the following a question or a statement?

          He said “what?”

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            Reword: “What”, did he say?

            Okay, that’s not a productive solution… More seriously, when real examples come up, reword them to avoid the ambiguity. :)

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              I mean sure, you cooould… or you could change the rules of punctuation. I, for one, am never wrong and therefor it is punctuation that must change ;)

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          Like the Polish quotations marks mentioned in the article, I can anecdotally attest that the advent of US word processing software has radically altered which quotation marks are used when writing Dutch. Our opening quotation marks used to be the ‘low double nine’ or ‘low single nine’:

          „In de zak,” zegt Moe, ‚van de Sint,” zegt Moe

          Nowadays, you almost only see this:

          “Zit wel wat,” zegt Moe, ‘voor elk kind,’ zegt Moe

          (Lines from a St. Nicholas song. In the sack, says Mum / of St. Nicholas, says Mum // there is something, says Mum / for every child, says Mum.)

          Also, an apostrophe at the start of a word or sentence tends to get written as a straight apostrophe-quote, and then not-quite-smart-enough-formatted into an high single six quotmark. What should be ’s Morgens stond hij op. gets turned into ‘s Morgens stond hij op. (He got up in the morning.) English speakers, have you perhaps noticed this happening with ‘T was brillig, and the slithy toves?

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            I don’t see differences with the ’s Morgens apostrophe. Nice to see fellow Dutch folks here, btw. ?

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              I didn’t see the difference until I set the font really large. one is wider on the top and the other is wider on the bottom. (and now that I know what to look for I can see it even at the normal font size)

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            Anybody with a Mac can enter these ‘curly’ quotation marks by pressing “Option {” for “, and “Option Shift {” for ”

            You can also do single quotes with “Option }” and “Option Shift }” like ‘this’

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              AltGr-V & B under X (Linux / FreeBSD / ChromeOS etc): “”. AltGr-Shift-V/B for single curly quotes: ‘’.

              I’ve been using these all the time ever since I discovered them; you can probably track my comments across the internet because I’m one of the few people using the correct typographical quotes :)

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                I always do quotes “ ” ‘ ’, dashes - – —, ellipsis …, and fun symbols like ™©®, as well as accents and ligatures with the Unicode support on OS S, I’m totally lost whenever I have to use a Windows computer haha!

                I do have a shortlist of my favorite HTML entities I refer to for copy & paste if I can’t type it or open a character palette: http://staticresource.com/punc.html

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                Apple’s placement of the quotmark pairs feels like a real mistake every time I have to use it. I like to type the closer right away, and having to start without Shift and add it halfway is annoying. Option [ plus Option ] rolls so much more nicely off the fingers, and so does Option Shift { plus Option Shift }.

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                  Linux equivalents anyone? I find text entry on linux to largely be a waste land, which is why I use it’s all text plugin on emacs. So I can “type these” with C-x 8 RET <name> RET, which is pretty ridiculous.

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                    If you’ve set up the compose key, Compose + “ + < will produce “ and Compose + ” + > will produce ”.

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                      See my earlier comment above :)

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                        Set your keyboard layout to English (international AltGr dead keys) (link goes to layout picture). Ubuntu and Linux Mint offer it out of the box; other distros might likewise include it?

                        You get all the quotes your heart desires (well, not really – the single guillemets are missing).

                        • AltGr + [ or ] -> « or »
                        • AltGr + { or } -> “ or ”
                        • AltGr + 9 or 0 -> ‘ or ’

                        You get access to a lot of accented letters directly, on or around the vowel key in question:

                        • AltGr + a/e/i/o/u -> á/é/í/ó/ú
                        • AltGr + z -> æ
                        • AltGr + q -> ä
                        • AltGr + s -> ß

                        There are also dead-key combinations for various accents:

                        • AltGr + ', y -> ý
                        • AltGr + 6, o -> ô
                        • AltGr + >, c -> č

                        My only gripe with this keyboard is the absence of the Ł and ł – the ogonek is right there under AltGr + 8, a -> ą, so it’s not like they don’t know Polish.

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                          I use the Dvorak layout on my PC and Android. But I also don’t use AltGr, but the Compose key. I should check if it supports various quote styles.

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                          Fun, I always feel lost on OS X and Windows with their obscure and illogical ways to enter special characters.

                          On Linux using xmodmap I always remap the left Apple/Windows key to Multi_key (the right Apple/Windows key is my “window manager” key):

                          keycode 133 = Multi_key NoSymbol Multi_key

                          I assume it will not be keycode 133 for everyone, you can figure out the keycode by running xev. Anyway, put that in a file and do xmodmap «file» and hopefully you can do the following:

                          • Multi_key + e + ‘ = é
                          • Multi_key + e + ` = è
                          • Multi_key + e + “ = ë
                          • Multi_key + e + , = ę
                          • Multi_key + e + ~ = ẽ
                          • Multi_key + o + / = ø
                          • Multi_key + a + e = æ
                          • Multi_key + < + < = «

                          etc. etc.

                          (The Multi_key might be the same as the Compose key, I’m not sure and not up to date with all them new fangled desktop environment lingo… oh: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compose_key)

                          And more “oh"… I never looked this up: http://tstarling.com/stuff/ComposeKeys.html :-)

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                          I used Ukelele to create a custom Mac keyboard layout that remaps those combinations to be more logical. In this keyboard layout, the left and right quotes are on [ and ], option without shift results in a single quote, and option with shift results in a double quote. For example, pressing “Option Shift {” gets and pressing “Option Shift }” gets .

                          I have uploaded my keyboard layout “U.S. – Rory custom” here. If you don’t want to mess around with Ukelele, you can install my layout by downloading and extracting the ZIP, then moving the two files (a .icns and a .keylayout) into ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/.

                          With these key combinations, I find typing smart quotes so easy that I use them in all my writing. I only type dumb quotes when I write code.

                          Some other common typographic characters that the standard Mac keyboard layout (and my layout) supports:

                          • Option -” for en dash
                          • Option Shift -” for em dash
                          • Option ;” for ellipsis
                          • Option 8” for bullet
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                          You’ll need to pry my curly quotes and double spaces from my hands.


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                            I get the curly quotes part, but why double spaces? IIRC those are an artifact from the days of typewriters, like the underline. Are there reasons for keeping the practice of double spacing?

                            I don’t mean to challenge your preferences, I’m just curious if there is a good reason to double space.

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                              Here is an article about it. I think that two-spacing is important because it disambiguates the period at sentence boundaries from things like abbreviations. This is important in vim where you might use something like “delete around sentence” with das. Strings like "Mr. Smith" would be considered sentences without two-spacing to differentiate them. So it’s not just preference, there is a semantic and practical difference.


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                                Thanks, that was a good read! :)

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                            design maybe?