It depends more on the font you use. The X fonts made the backtick more vertical than it should be. The apostrophe (single quote) was also slightly angled. This led to the backtick and apostrophe being used as way of faking smart quotes.
With newer fonts, the backtick is more angled and easier to distinguish. Try switching the font on your editor or terminal window to something else. Any of the scalable (TrueType) fonts would do it.
I'm quite fond of Vera Sans Mono and I like Andale Mono. Both are nice sans serif fixed-width fonts, much nicer than Courier.
Vera Sans looks gorgeous, except that maybe the minus glyph is slightly too discrete.
And I'm not mad about the zero glyph in Andale. It has a horizontal bar running through it, to make it easy to distinguish it from the uppercase O glyph. I bar my zeros when I put pen to paper (when writing code longhand) but I find it annoying in a screen font). But the parens and curlies are very easy to distinguish, choose your poison.
But both are definite improvements on Courier and Lucida Console.
- another intruder with the mooring of the heat of the Perl
My favorite font that makes these very distinct (as well as many other characters that can be a pain to distinguish) is ProFont. Vera Sans (mentioned above) is nice too, though it doesn't looks as nice as it scales down.
I was a lucida console fan for a long time, but my favorite has become neep. It looks very nice both small and large. I run it at 14 point (-*-neep alt-medium-r-normal-*-14-*-*-*-c-*-iso8859-1
) at 1600x1280 and it looks great. No trouble with ", ', or ` either.
-- Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock. naChoZ