Guillements in Email

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Fri May 2 10:57:37 CDT 2014

Apparently not. There's a difference: Gmail now used quoted-printable, that
preserves these guillemets (as =AB and =BB)  even if they are still encoded
with ISO8859-1 (without replacement by ASCII pairs of symbols).

In the previous message, Gmail thought that quoted-printable was not needed
for just these guillemets and replaced them (even if it was clearly not
needed in ISO8859-1 that has them since extremely long time, and even
before the Internet was open and emails started spreading; at that time
Google still did not even exist).

The degree sign (also in ISO 8859-1) was enough to trigger quoted-printable.

2014-05-02 17:40 GMT+02:00 Richard Wordingham <
richard.wordingham at>:

> On Fri, 2 May 2014 16:57:36 +0200
> Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at> wrote:
> > The email was sent from Gmail on its webmail, French edition.
> > May be Gmail is causing this, this is not expected and I don't know
> > why Gmail transforms the text to ISO 8859-1 (without breaking the
> > text without notice, it could had used windows-1252, which has
> > completely superseded ISO 8859-1 along with HTML5).
> The really weird thing is that the guillemets are ISO-8859-1
> characters, so should only have been modified as part of the
> transfer-encoding.
> > Is « 20 °C » OK with the degree symbol?
> Weirdly, both the gullements and the degree sign are preserved in the
> plain text version of the e-mail I'm answering.  Have Google just fixed
> their e-mail client?
> Richard.
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> Unicode at
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