“I would like to replace quotesingle with a right quote mark for North America, to remedy the “smartquote” fail that generates ‘18, rock ‘n’ roll, etc.”
Is there nothing else?
We had a similar issue come up with using “Smart Quotes” for something not at all related to quotations before, from French l’ or something. Contractions not working is, imho, not a failure of smart quote logic, if you follow my logic.
I think a “better idea” is, if contracting, is to turn off smart quotes, be the typographer, and input the glyph you want to appear.
If you want reversed spun, mirrored, reversed unspun or twisted quotish glyphs of any kind put them into the font. If you can, put them in in such a way as to work with “smart quote” software, or as a feature or as both. Nobody is stopping anybody from making, popularizing or using dumb, smart or manual quotes, apostrophes, repostrophies or quopostrophies.
On this old subject in general, I’ve concluded that the greatest hypocrisy is todo nothing. Simple — all talk-no fonts on this molehill-issue forever, coupled with typographic inaction, someone could go on talking their own tough brand of purity through sloth, ‘till the end of time.