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I have a peculiar problem with csquotes. When using fontspec a quote with a terminal apostrophe has no spacing between the apostrophe and the quotation mark. If I disable fontspec (comment out lines 3–4 in the MWE below) the problem goes away.

I am using XeLaTeX with fontspec and a paid for version of Baskerville in Open type format, however the problem does not appear to be related to the font, I seem to be able to reproduce it with any open type font.

The example is the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers song Moanin’ and my citation guidelines say that names of songs should be included in quote marks.

The first example in the MWE shows the problem.

The second example shows that if I manually insert a thinspace using \, then that results in too large a space between the apostrophe and the closing quotation mark.

The third example shows that nested \enquote produces the correct space.

As this is not a problem that has ever arisen before, and I doubt will occur again with any regularity, the easiest solution is to manually insert the correct space as I attempted to do in the second example. But thinspace is too big. How can I manually insert the correct size space?

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[style=american]{csquotes}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{Baskerville}
\begin{document}

  \enquote{Moanin'}           % example 1

  \enquote{Moanin'\,}         % example 2

  \enquote{\enquote{Moanin}}  % example 3

\end{document}
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  • 1
    Have you tried replacing \, (thinspace) with \kern0.5pt or \kern0.75pt? (The amount of whitespace inserted by csquotes would appear to correspond to \kern0.5pt.)
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 20:53
  • 1
    Thanks @Mico, I hadn’t because I wasn’t aware of \kern before. I just tried it and that was what I was looking for. If you add that as an answer I will accept it as such.
    – ddbrierton
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 21:06
  • 2
    you could also use \enquote{Moanin\textciquote}. Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 21:09
  • Thanks @UlrikeFischer that works too!
    – ddbrierton
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 21:21
  • @ddbrierton - Please see the answer I just posted.
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 21:37

2 Answers 2

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An introductory remark: If one runs your code without loading Baskerville, \enquote{Moanin'} automatically inserts whitespace -- in the amount of 0.5pt -- between the apostrophe and the closing double quote. I have no idea why that's not the case as well once one runs \setmainfont{Baskerville}; I suppose it has to be a bug in either the Baskerville Opentype font or in the csquotes package.

The macro \, ("thinspace") inserts 1.667pt of unbreakable whitespace. To get a smaller amount of unbreakable whitespace, you could use the \kern command. Observe that the argument of \kern should not be delimited by curly braces. Speaking for myself, I think that 0.5pt of whitespace isn't quite enough to separate the single and double ending quotation marks; inserting 0.7pt or even 0.9pt seems more like it. (Of course, inserting 1.667pt of whitespace -- that's what \, does -- is way too much.)

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[style=american]{csquotes}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{Baskerville}
\begin{document}

\obeylines % just for this example
\enquote{Moanin'}  --- no space
\enquote{Moanin'\kern0.5pt} --- 0.5pt (csquotes solution)
\enquote{Moanin'\kern0.7pt} --- 0.7pt
\enquote{Moanin'\kern0.9pt} --- 0.9pt
\enquote{Moanin'\,} --- thinspace/1.667pt
\end{document}
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Thanks to Mico and Ulrike Fischer who left excellent solutions in the comments.

Both \enquote{Moanin\kern0.5pt} and \enquote{Moanin\textciquote} are perfect solutions to the problem above.

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