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Phillip Helbig writes:
 > >     He said \quote{foo}, she replied \quote{bar}, and so on.
 > > Then LaTeX uses a lookup in the current typesetting style (logical,
 > > illogical, UK English, US English, etc) to determine if the quotes should
 > > be single or double and the preferred style of nesting and so on.
 >
 > I think this is a great idea.

but only for the simple cases and even there TeX's limitation in
parsing will easily screw you up. Change the above to:

  He said \quote{She said to me \quote{bar}}, and so on

what is going to happen? parsing a character and syntax stream of that
type using \futurelet is just not good enough.

as Chris said, this is really an area where some successor of TeX
providing additional functionality could help but within the current
TeX is is at best possible to provide hacks that work half of the time
if you try to get generically down to this level of detail.

frank