Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> > Date:         Sat, 10 Jun 2000 14:25:07 -0400
> > From: Robert Hailman <[log in to unmask]>
> > You said "Quotes might be a fallback solution for a single-font
> > rendering, but in a single-font rendering the order of quotes and
> > other punctuation doesn't matter anyway." This means that it really
> > matter which order is used in single font, not that you aren't
> > expressing an opinion.
> Ah, thanks. I was thinking, but forgot to write, that since both ways
> are equally ugly in a character-cell font, the rule for typeset text
> doesn't have to apply there. (And I realize that single-font does not
> imply a character-cell font --- but it should. Apart from browsers
> pretending that they know how to show email and news properly, I am
> hard pressed to think of programs that can use proportional fonts but
> can't use bold and italic).

In that case, I full well agree with you. As my English teacher says, I
respond to what you write, not what I think you mean. Also, browsers
that show email and news proportionally really bother me, because a lot
of people take advantage of the character-cell nature of proper email
and news programs. I can't think of any programs that can use
proportionaly fonts, but not bold and italic.

> > The technical text convention is understandable and not subject to
> > misinterpretation regardless of the use, while the current narrative
> > convention causes trouble in technical text where boling and such is not
> > possible. Why have two conventions if only one of them works in ever
> > situation?
> For the same reason that you use a screwdriver, even though a hammer
> works with both nails and screws: The result looks better that way.

But then again, when you hammer a screw in, you get physical defects on
the surface you are hammering in to, which affects the quality and value
of the product, but putting a comma outside a quotation mark doesn't
physically damage the paper or the words. In this case, what looks
better is entirely up to the viewer.