W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1998

Re: Sentence spacing and nested quotes

From: <MWhisman@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 16:40:10 EST
Message-ID: <36ded67e.365f1c3a@aol.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
Spacing, Quoting, Hyphenation, Small Caps
Naturally, other languages have their own rules.

Regarding sentence spacing in English:

* The standard spacing for typewritten text is two spaces.

* The standard spacing for typeset text (professional publications) is one

Many professional publishers and typographers will tell you they don't like
the extra space because it promotes unsightly "rivers" of white space,
especially in fully justified text. (That's why one space is standard.) Word
processors and page layout programs often have trouble with the extra space
after a sentence in justified text. In order to justify the text, they add
space proportionally through the line after *each* space, so two spaces in a
row get a double dose.

In any case, control of word spacing and letter spacing, quoting, and
hyphenation and justification is a good thing. There should be plenty of
discussion in word processing and page layout / desktop publishing discussion

A "sentence" should be a recognized logical (non-physical formatting) entity,
just like  a paragraph, list, table, etc. However, I'd hate to see a
<sentence>...</sentence> tag. It would be better to have the browser recognize
a sentence on its own, and give the stylesheet language and the browser
control over character, word, sentence, line, and paragraph attributes.

Regarding hyphenation, there *are* rules (and exceptions) for dividing words
into syllables for hyphenation. A book on English grammar or a good dictionary
should list the rules. For English, they involve number of consonants and
number of vowels and vowel length.

I, too, would like to see options for small caps for the first line of a
paragraph or the first few words. A "drop capital" option for the first letter
of a paragraph might be nice, too.
Received on Friday, 27 November 1998 16:40:25 UTC

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