[dev-context] Language settings / French / quotation marks

jmhuffle at femto-st.fr jmhuffle at femto-st.fr
Thu Jan 2 23:31:23 CET 2020


5 mai 2019 02:03 "Alan Braslau" <braslau.list at comcast.net> a écrit:

> I don’t know if that is correct, but clearly \quotation and \quote at first view seem strange to
> give the same result.
>(...)

First, happy new year!

Then I noticed this point, but I confess that it was not given high priority... Let us recall that the problem was related to second level quotations in French. Roughly speaking, do we have to write:

(i) Je me souviens avoir dit <<Pourquoi criez-vous "Au voleur !" Aurait-on volé votre manuel de ConTeXt ? >>

or:

(ii) Je me souviens avoir dit <<Pourquoi criez-vous <<Au voleur !>> Aurait-on volé votre manuel de ConTeXt ? >>

Among the typography manuals I know for French, the most complete explanation about this subject is given at:

Maurice Grévisse. "Le bon usage". Edition de 1988, §133, p. 185.

For a long time, (ii) was the only correct form, but reading such may be quite confusing. More and more often, English guillemets - "..." (or '...', less used) - are put for a quotation inside another quotation. My Grévisse book is not the last edition, but I think that this point has not been changed.

I think that (i) should be the default solution - as I told Tomas at BachoTeX - and some workaround should allow end-users to put (ii) into action if they would like to refer to a very old rule. Surprisingly, a very ancient rule is given by Chicago Manual of Style's 14th Edition: an opening guillemet should be put at each line beginning when the enclosed citation is running (§9.26). Our example would become:

Je me souviens avoir dit <<Pourquoi criez-vous <<Au
<<voleur !>> Aurait-on volé votre manuel de
ConTeXt ?>>

but this ridiculous use has disappeared within French modern publishing. A variant? The

Guide du typographe romand

(published at Lausanne) suggest to use 'simple guillemets' for enclosed quotations:

Je me souviens avoir dit <<Pourquoi criez-vous <Au voleur !> Aurait-on volé votre manuel de ConTeXt ?>>

To end up, if you difficultly understand this example in French:

I remember that I said: "Why did you shout 'Stop thief!' Has your ConTeXt manual being stolen?"

Yours sincerely,

J.-M.


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