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

Re: Sentence spacing and nested

From: Mike Meyer <mwm@phone.net>
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 08:54:11 -0800 (PST)
To: style-list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.05.9811280838230.29118-100000@guru.phone.net>

On Sat, 28 Nov 1998, Matthew Skala wrote:

> On Fri, 27 Nov 1998, Scott K. Laws wrote:
> Now, are there any cases where you'd want to have a styled document
> section with double spaces at the ends of sentences, but you'd also want
> to have a period (or similar mark) with a *single* space?

Yes, Mr.  Skala, there is.  Scott K.  Laws can probably point one out
as well.

> > BTW, I have recently heard that double spacing after a sentence is no
> > longer concidered nessarry/correct in english.  I still use it though.
> It seems to me that the double space is used by many people, and there are
> some very good reasons to use it (such as the fact that documents without
> it are ugly), and so it's sensible to make it possible for people to use
> it.  People who don't want to use it, don't have to. 

Some of us consider documents *with* it ugly, and it does violate the
modern english typography rules. From Bringhurst, "The Elements of
Typographic Style":

    In the nineteenth century, which was a dark and inflationary age
    in typography and type design, many compositors were encouraged to
    stuff an extras space between sentences. Generations of
    twentieth-century typists were then taught to tdo the same, by
    hitting the spacebar twice after every period. Your typinig as
    well as your typesetting will benefit from unlearning this quaint
    Victorian habit. As a general rule, no more than a single space is
    required after a period, a colon, or any other mark of
    punctuation. Large spaces (e.g., en spaces) *replace* punctuation.

However, there are reasons for wanting ugly documents. And style
sheets are the place for this kind of thing. The above - along with a
caveat that not every occurence of every such character requires a
sentence spacing - would well be usefull.

Received on Saturday, 28 November 1998 11:54:14 UTC

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