Friday, July 13, 2007


Nirvana in LA sends me this one, which barely makes sense. She suggests that it might be supposed to represent inches, but then shouldn't the quotes be facing the other way? Curious.


Unknown said...

Yet another stunning example of hideous typography!

However, your remark is not quite right: if it said 27” it would be a an unmatched right double quote character, not an inch mark.

Most users are horribly careless with this distinction, because typewriters and ASCII only have an inch/tick mark and foot mark. Word “solves” this problem with the extremely simplistic algorithm “open quote if immediately preceded by a space; close quote if immediately preceded by a nonspace.” Latex “solves” it by requiring users to use a double-backtick (``) for open quotes (Emacs implements an identical algorithm to Word’s in tex modes). Both produce, more often than one would like, the wrong character in print – though hopefully never as catastrophically wrong as 27“

The most frequent failure of this algorithm is in people’s typing of decades: ‘90s instead of ’90s. As much that annoys my typographic sense, I am usually further affronted with the grammatically incorrect ’90’s or CD’s. AAAHHH!

Unknown said...

If Word “fixes” your intentional inch-mark to a close-double-quote when you’re bragging about your 27" something on your car (?), just type the undo command immediately after typing the quote character to “undo autoformat”. It will revert to an inch mark. In Latex, I would probably say set the thing in math mode, where $'$ is “prime”

dave said...

definately refers to the diameter of the wheels, in inches.

There is a good chance the decal is simply applied upside down, no? I think that may even make it funnier.