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I would like to create symbol pairs that

  • can be used like quotation marks (spacing-wise)
  • look like Quine corners (roughly: \ulcorner ... \urcorner) or Japanese quotation marks (roughly: \ulcorner ... \lrcorner)
  • are zero-width (or of very narrow width)

What is the best way to do this?

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Can you use a font that contains Japanese quotation marks? Would a XeLaTeX solution be acceptable? –  Alan Munn Jul 1 '12 at 5:13
    
@AlanMunn For now I'm sticking to LaTeX because last time I tried XeTeX it didn't interact well with my setup: (1) My (older) version of WinEdt is not Unicode-compatible. (2) XeTeX (very) slightly misplaces the hyperref-boxes (around links). (3) It seems to lead to some font errors in the pdf-file (I didn't spend much time trying to fix this). In brief, too much of a trial-and-error curve for me right now. That said, if you are familiar with those issues, I'll be all ears. –  Lover of Structure Jul 1 '12 at 7:46
    
You mean that the horizontal bar should go over the delimited text? –  egreg Jul 1 '12 at 8:28
    
@egreg Ideally the corners are of zero or very narrow width but are so high/low that they are unlikely to touch the adjacent letters (while not increasing the line-spacing). Or the horizontal portion of the corners would have to be very short. –  Lover of Structure Jul 2 '12 at 4:22
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The MnSymbol fonts have corners that can be used as you'd like

\documentclass{article}

\DeclareFontFamily{U}{MnSymbolE}{}
\DeclareFontShape{U}{MnSymbolE}{m}{n}{
    <-6>  MnSymbolE5
   <6-7>  MnSymbolE6
   <7-8>  MnSymbolE7
   <8-9>  MnSymbolE8
   <9-10> MnSymbolE9
  <10-12> MnSymbolE10
  <12->   MnSymbolE12}{}

\newcommand{\mnquote}[1]{\usefont{U}{MnSymbolE}{m}{n}\char#1\relax}

\newcommand{\quinelquote}{\raisebox{.1ex}{\rlap{\mnquote{'036}}\kern.2em}}
\newcommand{\quinerquote}{\/\raisebox{.1ex}{\kern.2em\llap{\mnquote{'043}}}}

\let\nipponlquote\quinelquote
\newcommand{\nipponrquote}{\/\raisebox{-.1ex}{\kern.2em\llap{\mnquote{'055}}}}

\begin{document}
\quinelquote Bcdef\quinerquote

\nipponlquote Bbcdefg\nipponrquote

\nipponlquote Bbcdef\nipponrquote

\end{document}

However the problem with \nipponrquote is with descenders: this quotation system works with Japanese because its glyphs don't have descenders. The compiled example shows this weakness with the latin alphabet. However the same problem arises when the letter adjacent to the closing "Quine quote" has no ascender.

enter image description here

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The original MnSymbol source code contains the lines \DeclareFontFamily{OMX}{MnSymbolE}{} and \DeclareFontShape{OMX}{MnSymbolE}{m}{n}{[...]}{} (with OMX instead of U). (And an analogous command for the definition of the bold series.) I assume that the departure from this in your solution was intentional? –  Lover of Structure Aug 22 '12 at 6:45
    
@user14996 Yes, it was. The U encoding doesn't make any assumption on "character translation". –  egreg Aug 22 '12 at 9:57
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