There are inm reality two separate problems, what the logical input by
the author should be and how that should be practically imnput by the
author using TeX. In TeX these two apsects become dependant of each other
because of TeX's limited capacity of parsing different syntaxes, but I had
really only in my mind the first question.

At 10:41 +0000 98/10/23, Joerg Knappen wrote:
>It is almost trivial to implement \quote{this}, but do you really expect
>that it
>will be used by the authors, typing a LaTeX script?
>
>Compare: "this"
>         this''
>         \quote{this}
>
>in length, sophistication, and error checking.
>
>IMO, the Knuthian commands are just right -- not too long and not shortened
>into cryptical acronyms. LaTeX2e is already on the way to go overboard on
>command length, I am not very fond of all the commands prefixed by \text...

At 14:13 +1000 98/10/23, Ken Smith wrote:
...
>The major problem would be the nesting.
>There are some parts of the Bible, for instance, where the outer quote
>is thousands of characters long.
>If an (or several) inner quotes were near the end of this there could
>be trouble with missing closing braces.
>I am sure we have all spent a lot of time looking for the source of
>"end occurred inside a group" errors.

So, once one has made up ones mind of which logical structure the author
ought to input, one can attepmt to make it feasible in TeX: Perhaps it is
not possible, in which case the idea must be scrapped.

For example, let "<" and ">" denote the left and right chevrons. Then one
might attempt to use these as active characters, so that the author writes
He said <foo>, she replied <bar>, and so on.
This would solve the objections above, but I would not surprised if it
creates other problems.

Hans Aberg