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Re: space

From: Bert Bos <bbos@mygale.inria.fr>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 19:30:57 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199609251730.TAA02470@mygale.inria.fr>
To: www-style@w3.org
Nick Nussbaum writes:
 > At 09:56 AM 9/23/96 +0100, you wrote:
 > >   Formally, in the English language there are situations apon which extra
 > >   space is inserted between items.  Some examples include the two space
 > >   after a period ending a sentence 
 > >
 > >No, this is an antique convention or artifice from the days of the
 > >typewriter.  Printers in English tradiotionally insert a small amount
 > >of extra space after a period, but not usually as much as a two whole
 > >letter-spaces from a fixed-width font would imply. To try to insert
 > >that much space when using a proportionally spaced font will probably
 > >look very strange.
 > It is true that "french spacing" is considered an obsolete typographical style
 > in american typography, and it makes most contemporary typographers cringe.

Funny, why does TeX define French spacing as the opposite of what it
means elsewhere? But I agree with those typographers: text with extra
space between sentences looks old-fashioned.

 > I believe that it is still considered an important style in France and other
 > parts of Europe. If any typographer from Italy or France is reading the list, 
 > I'd appreciate hearing a comment. I also believe that inserting a
 > non-breakig space is the way it is usually specified in those areas.

I'm not a typographer, but I think it is normal in Dutch typography to
use the same space between sentences as between words, I don't know
about French. However, it would be strange if the French put extra
space after a sentence, since they already put space *before* the
end-marker if it is larger than a comma.

In typewritten material this would look like this ! Or maybe this ?
Same for colons and semicolons. In print, this space seems to be
narrower than the normal interword spaces, and of course it never
breaks a line. I tried putting thin spaces before !?:; and I must say
I liked the result. Any Frenchman to confirm this ?

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/People/Bos/                      INRIA/W3C
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 93 65 77 71                 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 25 September 1996 13:31:08 UTC

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