Re: Spaces after periods 'n such

Subject: Re: Spaces after periods 'n such
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2010 23:33:21 +0200

For a long time I haven't had a moment to glance
at Techwr-L, but it's if I never was away.

Richard wrote:
> The only reason that "this discussion comes
> up frequently" is because, no matter how
> overwhelming the evidence and impeccable the logic

The reason the discussion doesn't die is that
although the evidence of current usage is overwhelming,
the logic asserted is questionable and sometimes
downright false.

I have heard, for example, that proportional fonts
don't need extra space between sentences because
the word processor puts the extra space there
automatically. (Not true. I've measured.) I
have heard that from time immemorial, books have
never been printed with extra space between
sentences. (Not true. I have books several
decades old that were printed that way.) I have
heard that the extra space inevitably creates
rivers. (Not true, provided that hyphenation
and column width are reasonable.) Most
often, what I hear is the simple non sequitur
that "Because the font is proportional, the
extra space is unnecessary." What does one
have to do with the other? If the extra space
aids the reader of a monospaced font, why doesn't
it aid the reader of a proportional font? What's
happening out there, in my opinion, is that
although the run-together sentences make for a
loss of readability, the proportional font makes
for an advantage that renders the loss bearable.
And in favor of the single space we have the
combined self-interest of programmers (who like
to treat every space the same for the sake of
simplicity) and graphic designers (who like to
see text as an even grey and readability be

Mark L. Levinson - nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il
"if knowledge is power
what is all this other stuff?" - Maggie Secara

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