Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

  • Mood:

Reading a book

There's not a great deal to do at work right now, so I've been asked to familiarise myself a bit with XML and XSLT, and I've been pointed in the direction of Professional XML by Wrox (which appears to be the only XML book the company has, judging by the card catalog in the company mini-library).

My first thought, while reading the authors' mini-bios, was "Good grief... they use straight apostrophes". I flicked through the pages and indeed, they use straight up-and-down apostrophes and double quotes.

I was aghast. Hello? This is not an 80×25 (oops, sorry, 80x25) character terminal that only understands ASCII; this is a printed book. English typesetting has a long and rich history, and I feel that curly apostrophes and quotes have a firm place in it. I wonder why they decided to leave it out for that book. Or perhaps they thought that programmers wouldn't notice?

(It’s true that I generally don’t use curly apostrophes, ‘single quotes’, or “double quotes” online—except in some cases, such as this paragraph, for a lark—, but then I’m not publishing a book.)

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