For example, in the yes man page:

yes outputs expletive, or, by default, ``y''

Why is "y" quoted this way?

  • 1
    Care to tell us what your system is? Most probably it's just a mistake... – Jan Sep 15 '14 at 11:18
  • This doesn't seem to be from yes from coreutils. – Anthon Sep 15 '14 at 11:59
  • In print the lefthand quotes are different from righthand quotes. nroff is processing the manpage in an attempt to mimic this. These quotes are not at all related to, or attempt to simulate, shell quotes. – wurtel Sep 15 '14 at 12:24
  • This is actually in OS X, I assumed it was the same everywhere. – laurent Sep 15 '14 at 13:20
  • 1
    wurtel is right. It is trying to get this effect by using two left-single-quotes and two right-single-quotes, but screen fonts hardly ever look like that any more. P.S. I see the same usage in various Linux man pages, although it seems to be with individual quotes (e.g., `y') more often than double. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Sep 15 '14 at 18:46

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