Let me be a bit more "nationalistic" and exaggerate a bit for a moment
(just in order to explain why I find the idea of using `` a bad one;
do not take the text below too seriously or personally):

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:15, Alan BRASLAU wrote:
> On Monday 18 January 2010 13:50:25 Taco Hoekwater wrote:
>> views63 wrote:
>> >
>> > I'm using `` complex analysis'' the output is wrong.
>> Not really. We (Hans and I) would say that it is now finally right. ;)
> This is true of many standard TeX ligatures (is this the right word here?)
> such as ... (\ldots, \dots also works), << (\og), >> (\fg), "` (\glqq),
> "' (\grqq), ~ (unbreakable space), etc.
> This can be a bit disturbing for experienced TeX users.

- I agree. 80% of Slovenian (La)TeX users use US quotation marks just
because they have read some TeX tutorial about how to use `` and ''.
- Knuth only thought of English quotation marks when implementing the
ugly trick. There is no simple way for "opening quotation marks" („)
for Slovenian/German and most probably for quite some other languages
as well. So ``'' notation is useless for a big fraction of users
anyway. (The only alternative is probably \glqq & friends. You can use
a similar one in ConTeXt as well, but I tend to forget exact names.)
- On Slovenian keyboard it's pretty complicated to type `. Let's take
Mac (but it's equally complicated on Windows). One needs to press
Alt+<+space. This means 2x3=6 strokes to get the character “ typeset.
The character “ itself only takes a single stroke on Mac/Slo. On
Mac/US Int. it's just Alt+[ (2 keystrokes) to get it, so not that bad
- When using \quotation{} it's easy to change the mind about what
quotation marks to use (Slovenian/German use two different sets) and
the proper layout will be used based on the language being used (comes
handy when mixing languages inside the document). Which is great - no
need to think which one to use.
- The deciding moment when some of these ugly tricks have been thrown
away was when we realized that if you do add those tricks, there is no
way to print the grave accent. (Grave accent will be automatically
converted to the same "comma" that you get in quotation marks.) In
good old TeX the grave accent (`) and the character that you get when
you type ` are at two different slots. In Unicode-encoded fonts that's
not doable. This means that if one wants to enable the `` trick then
there's no way to allow composite characters with grave accent or the
character ` in typewriter font. In most cases that is not a problem
since Unicode fonts usually support a wide range of characters, but I
already had to use a character not present in Unicode. And that was
not doable until the hack has been removed.

In the good old days the ugly tricks have been there mostly in order
to compensate for lack of Unicode & accents on keyboards. Nowadays the
limitation of encodings has (almost) gone.

You can easily change the behaviour of ConTeXt by modifying font
features if you insist in using ``''.

> OK, \quotation{} is cleaner and of course using unicode
> characters may be even more readable, sometimes.
> I have very mixed feelings, as I know how to type ...
> but I never can recall the keyboard gymnastics necessary
> to get this in unicode.

That's why I always use \quotation{}.

> (Things are even worse on a Mac, as the standard keyboard
> layout is missing lots of important characters.)

I have no idea which keyboard you use, but US International is pretty
rich (the problem is lack of some legend on keyboard itself), on the
other hand it's easy enough to make your own layout.

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