two spaces--What about E-mail?

Subject: two spaces--What about E-mail?
From: LaVonna Funkhouser <lffunkhouser -at- HALNET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 13:10:14 -0500

Susan Fowler wrote:

>Right. Double-space when you are TYPING text using a monospaced typeface.
With a
> monospaced face--Courier or Elite--on a typewriter, the extra space is a good
> visual cue in the _absence_ of other cues. Every letter in a monospaced
> typeface is the same size--ergo, a general lack of the shapeliness (and visual
> cues) that a typeset word will have.

[I thought *all* typewriter fonts were monospaced. Hmmmm.]

>There is absolutely no need to double-space when you are TYPESETTING or using
> desktop publishing. And, in fact, my typesetter friends tell me that
> double-spacing prevents typesetting programs from adjusting word spacing
> correctly. The two-en space creates a hard space.

My question:
*If* you are suggesting to use "period-space-space" with monospaced
fonts, then why did you not use two spaces in your E-mail message? It
seems to me that most mail readers show us our mail in a monospaced
font like Courier. If it helps legibility, then we should have
the courtesy to use the two space convention in this medium.

(Regarding mail readers, I am currently using Eudor with Courier New
as the screen font and I sometimes use Elm on a Unix terminal, which
also displays with a monospaced font.)

The obvious answer to my question above is that you have taught yourself
to use one space, and changing your habit to fit the medium *is difficult*.
I will concurr because after we discussed this issue (re: one space is
preferred in typset material) on techwr-l about 1.5 years ago, I've
attempted to change my habit when typing into PageMaker, *and* I have
endeavored to search and replace for any two-space oversights. In E-mail,
however, my personal preference is two spaces.

My favorite quote on the subject was from a techwr-ler
who wrote the following during the previous discussion: "If God
hadn't wanted us to put two spaces after sentences, he wouldn't have
given us two thumbs!" :-) !

I'm sorry that I don't remember who posted that. Speak up if it is


LaVonna F. Funkhouser Immediate Past President, OK Chapter
lffunkhouser -at- halnet -dot- com Program Manager, 1995 Region 5 Conf.
technical writer Society for Technical Communication
COREStaff Communication Svcs.

My opinions do not officially represent anyone other than me.

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