[OS X TeX] overview of what TeX is producing

peter.frings at agfa.com peter.frings at agfa.com
Wed Mar 2 12:33:28 EST 2005

>> That may be the American typesetting tradition (double space after the
>> end of a sentence), combined with a particularly bad underful.

> That is something I have been wondering about. According to the American
> way, one a combination of quoting and a period comes out like this:
>     It was a matter of `live and let live.'
> While the IMO more logical way would be
>     It was a matter of `live and let live'.

See <http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm>

Following a link on that page, we learn:

There are peculiar typographical reasons why the period and comma go inside
the quotation mark in the United States. The following explanation comes
from the "Frequently Asked Questions" file of alt.english.usage: "In the
days when printing used raised bits of metal, "." and "," were the most
delicate, and were in danger of damage (the face of the piece of type might
break off from the body, or be bent or dented from above) if they had a '"'
on one side and a blank space on the other. Hence the convention arose of
always using '."' and ',"' rather than '".' and '",', regardless of logic."
This seems to be an argument to return to something more logical, but there
is little impetus to do so within the United States.


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