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Re: When is a first letter not a :first-letter?

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 09:36:35 -0700
Cc: Ambrose Li <ambrose.li@gmail.com>, www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <21E42B1A-4622-431F-B7E6-BE74E0C0F479@comcast.net>
To: David Walbert <dwalbert@learnnc.org>

On Jun 30, 2008, at 6:07 AM, David Walbert wrote:

> On Jun 30, 2008, at 12:14 AM, Ambrose Li wrote:
>
>> But I would tend to think that normal typographic practice would
>> more likely treat a number as the same class as a letter but not
>> punctuation.
>
>
> For "normal typographic practice" the main use case would be  
> something like a drop cap, and I'd never make a numeral into a drop  
> cap. But best practice in English is if your sentence starts with a  
> number to spell it out rather than using numerals -- which means  
> it's a moot point whether the numeral is a "first letter" for  
> styling purposes; styling that first numeral would be a questionable  
> presentation of bad editing.
>

Right, except you can't always know or guarantee that the page using  
your style sheet won't have text you didn't plan on. (Or maybe you  
can, but I can't.) So what happens if I have a sentence that starts  
out with something like "1,000,000,000 years ago...", and I have a  
style sheet that creates a drop cap by taking the first letter and  
making it large and floated left? Do I get a large, floated "y",  
wrapped by text that begins  "1,000,000,000 ears ago..."?

What if my sentence begins with a dollar sign or copyright symbol? Are  
those considered punctuation, to be included along with the first  
letter? Would that be the case even if the numbers to the right of  
those symbols were not considered letters?
Received on Monday, 30 June 2008 16:37:37 GMT

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