Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> > Date:         Tue, 6 Jun 2000 22:11:41 -0400
> > From: Robert Hailman <[log in to unmask]>
> >
> > FFlores wrote:
> > > The English style of leaving punctuation inside the quotes
> > > is quite ugly too. "Like this," what's the comma doing in
> > > there? ;) I read (in the Jargon File, IIRC) that hackers and
> > > programmers tend to use the "logical style" with the punctuation
> > > outside the quotes (because they're used to lists of strings
> > > being like that.
> > >
> > Another reason programmers do that, if I understand correctly, is
> > because when citing examples of code, some dullard will invariably end
> > up trying to type in your code with the punctuation, and complain that
> > it doesn't work. I don't like leaving the puncutation inside the quotes,
> > but my English teacher takes off marks if I don't.
> I think it must be understood that the punctuation conventions for
> typewritten text were created at a time when typewriters were only
> used for business correspondence and drafts of material that was to be
> typeset later.
> Business letters don't have much (if any) direct speech, and for
> drafts it's important to present the text precisely as the typesetter
> will have to enter it. Only copy editors were reading typewritten
> novels directly back then.
> In properly typeset text --- which doesn't just mean email shown in a
> proportional font --- it looks better to have the comma or full stop
> inside the quotation mark, so that they fit against the preceding word
> like your eye is used to. For most lowercase letters, a following
> 'high comma' closing quote will be floating off in space already, a
> little more distance doesn't hurt as much. And programming constructs
> should be marked off from English text with font changes, not quotes.
They use the quotes for subroutine names and such, not for long lines of
code. If someone searches for "a," where they should be searching for
"a", they won't find what they are looking for.

> So if you do your English essays in LyX or WordPerfect, you get no
> sympathy from me for wanting to put commas outside quotes. And if you
> hand them in in Courier 9pt, I can only ask, "Why?"

I had them in in ordinary 12-point Times or Arial. I put the commas
outside quotes as a convention I've taken over from my handwriting. My
closing quotes come fairly low down, well into the realm of lower case
leters, sometimes even being two vertical lines, not quite like ||, but
close. ||Your late,|| he said, looks worse than ||Your late||, he said,
or at least in my handwriting, which is difficult for some people to
read but phenominally consistent.

> I just tried telling LaTeX to put commas/full stops directly under the
> closing quotes. It actually looks quite good, I might start using it.

I'd do that, when I get my printer networked up to my Linux box. I can't
print anything off from it yet, so it's easier for me to do it all right
here on my Windows box.