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Basic Book Design

Basic Book Design


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Published by Putrimales

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Published by: Putrimales on Nov 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A sure sign of amateur typesetting is to use "straight quotes" in
stead of “curly quotes.” Note that curly quotes come in left and
right pairs.

Single quotes also come in straight (') and curly (‘ ’) varieties.
Be sure to use a single-close quote in contractions, e.g., I’ll.
Most word processors will automatically substitute curly
quotes. To switch this feature on or off in Microsoft Word, go to

Tools…AutoCorrect…AutoFormat As You Type…Replace As You
Type "Straight Quotes" With “Smart Quotes”. Then go to (you have
to switch the feature on or off in two places) Tools…
AutoCorrect…AutoFormat…Replace "Straight Quotes" With
“Smart Quotes”.

To manually use curly quotes, type the following key combina
tions on a Macintosh:

‘ option-]
’ shift-option-]
“ option-[
” shift-option-]

In LaTeX, type ` (accent mark) and `` (two accent marks) for
open single- and double-curly quotes, and ' and '' (two single apos
trophes) for close single- and double-curly quotes. LaTeX auto
matically replaces these with the appropriate curly quotes.
Note that inch and feet marks are straight quotes, e.g., “he was

6'1" tall.”

Contractions Without Preceding Letters

Use a close-single-curly-quote in contractions that don’t have a


Basic Book Design

preceding letter. E.g., “smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em” is a contrac
tion of, “smoke them if you have got them.” Word processors will
instead incorrectly produce “smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.”
Some foreign languages put a prefix before family names. E.g.,
the King of Jordan is Abdullah bin Al-Hussein (meaning, “son of
the Hussein family”). He can also be referred to as King Hussein.
Because Hussein is a contraction of Al-Hussein, some writers use
an apostrophe, e.g., ’Hussein (correct) or ‘Hussein (incorrect).

Possessive Singular And Plurals
The first page of the Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B.
White, has a mistake. The mistake is of omission, i.e., what’s writ
ten is true, but misleading. Strunk and White correctly advised
forming possessive singular nouns by adding ’s, regardless of the
word’s final letter. E.g.,

Charles’ friend (Incorrect)
Charles’s friend (Correct)

They didn’t explain that the apostrophe replaces a vowel, as a
contraction. E.g., we say aloud “Charleszez friend,” not “Charles

What’s misleading is that they didn’t explain what to do with
possessive plural nouns. I.e., a reader might think that Strunk and
White advised adding ’s to form all possessive nouns. This isn’t
correct. Possessive plural nouns add the apostrophe without the s.


Here we don’t add an extra syllable, e.g., we don’t say “chim
panzeeszez” or “humanszez”. The apostrophe without a following
s indicates that it’s silent.



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