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August 2007 Archives

August 21, 2007


Some half-crazed moron at Microsoft, in an attempt to be helpful, made an idiotic decision.

Of what do I speak? Microsoft Entourage ( attempts to be both convenient and pretty by replacing apostrophes (') with curly quotes (’). Ordinarily, I wouldn’t complain. I like curly-quotes as much as the next guy, and I regularly use a vim plugin called UniCycle to achieve the same effect. HOWEVER, Entourage knows that it only wants to send text email in the ISO-8859-1 (aka “Latin1”) character set, which does not contain a curly-quote. This presents the age-old conundrum: “wanna curly quote, can’t have a curly quote”. So Entourage must choose a different character from the ISO-8859-1 character set to use instead of the curly quote. The obvious choice would be the apostrophe ('); people are used to it, and after all it is a quote! But what does Entourage choose? A superscript 1, like this: ¹

What goon came up with this? A superscript 1, in most fonts (except at very small sizes) looks nothing like a quotation mark. It looks like the number one! Which is exactly what it is! Yes, it’s in the Latin1 character set (0xB9) but, let’s be honest here, how many fonts do you suppose have a superscript one character but NOT an apostrophe? Or a curly quote? Besides looking stupid, Microsoft isn’t actually improving their compatibility!

But, I suppose, what did I expect from such an “innovative” company?

P.S. I have no idea why superscript 1 gets to be its own character in the Latin1/ISO-8859-1 character set. Seems silly to me, but then, so does ¤.

About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Kyle in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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