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Thread: Two spaces after a period - a protest movement

  1. #31
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    It turns out there are quite a variety of Unicode  space characters. Decisions, decisions...so I wrot e a quick little script to make the decision for m e.

    Some of them make sense. Sometimes you want to spa ce letters apart without breaking a word, so the n o-break space that is visible but pretends not to be  there for layout purposes seems reasonable. And s ometimes you want to enable a word to be broken, b ut don't want to insert a visible space, so the ze ro-width space has a use there. However, I'm a bit ba ffled at the reason for U+FEFF, the zero-width, no-break space, which makes no difference to either c haracter spacing or layout...

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Mostly, I think that you should format your own documents in the manner you find most pleasing, comply with the style guide (perhaps grudgingly, and with a frustrated sigh, if you aren't happy with their stylistic choices ) when submitting a document for publication by some journal, and not criticize someone else for how they choose to lay out their own documents.
    Hear him, hear him.
    But in general, authors are the very last people who should be allowed to do layout, as a glance at a lot of self-published books should make clear (present company in this forum excepted, I'm sure). One has to be able to step back from the words and see the page and letters as a pattern, which can be nudged into a more or less pleasing form. It's a different sort of art. And too many print books, even from publishing houses, nowadays look like they're just an e-book poured on to the page - no-one has broken up the rivers, sorted the widows and orphans, adjusted the kerning on the chapter headings, or trimmed out hyphen build-up at the right margin or large justification spaces in the body of the text.
    I find it disproportionately annoying. My wife says I have a special sigh that she recognizes as my "hyphen at the end of a page" sigh.

    So I'm going to start a countermovement, to put typographers back in charge of layout!

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #33
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    When we're all converted into computer simulations then this won't be a problem. The computer will know how we'd like to see our text because it's simulating us and knows all of our thoughts.

  4. #34
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    We could debate points of writing and typography style until doomsday, but as usual what outrages me is arrogance on the part of word processor creators in assuming what is best for us, the end users, and forcing us to jump through hoops to figure out how to adjust it. Once again I go into my fantasy mode and wash their mouths out with the soap I made in high school chemistry lab. I would use a greasy sample, not a caustic one that could just as easy happen. I don't want to hurt the poor schlubs, just make it unpleasant. My ideal would be to make the word processor have an easy to use choice of fonts, but otherwise make its default state nothing more than a typewriter, with easy to use menus for common types of formatting. Then it is easy to write according to whatever style manual is appropriate for the task at hand.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    We could debate points of writing and typography style until doomsday, but as usual what outrages me is arrogance on the part of word processor creators in assuming what is best for us, the end users, and forcing us to jump through hoops to figure out how to adjust it.
    Hear him, hear him, encore.
    The so-called "British" -ise suffix (as opposed to American -ize) is to some (large) extent a product of Microsoft spell-checking software. There are other influences, of course, since a general use of -ise had been cohabiting with -ize in British English for a very long time, but the perception among many British English speakers that -ise is "correct" and -ize is "wrong" occurred shortly after Microsoft started flagging spellings that way under its "British English" setting. A British poster on this forum even seemed to be under the impression that -ize was one of Noah Webster's many inventions, and that British English had always used -ise as its standard form.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Hear him, hear him, encore.
    The so-called "British" -ise suffix (as opposed to American -ize) is to some (large) extent a product of Microsoft spell-checking software. There are other influences, of course, since a general use of -ise had been cohabiting with -ize in British English for a very long time, but the perception among many British English speakers that -ise is "correct" and -ize is "wrong" occurred shortly after Microsoft started flagging spellings that way under its "British English" setting. A British poster on this forum even seemed to be under the impression that -ize was one of Noah Webster's many inventions, and that British English had always used -ise as its standard form.

    Grant Hutchison
    Grey/gray in the US is probably a second one: gray is more common but not exclusive.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

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  7. #37
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    Two-spacers and variable spellers of the world UNTIE!
    Throw down the dictation of or overlords; raise up from the depression of our Evil Leaders; the Revelation is at hand!!!
    "The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there's no difference."

    "Aikido: the art of hitting people with planets."

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDevo View Post
    Two-spacers and variable spellers of the world UNTIE!
    Throw down the dictation of or overlords; raise up from the depression of our Evil Leaders; the Revelation is at hand!!!
    UNTIE? From our keyboards?


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  9. #39
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    And speaking of spaces, this, which I found in Wikipedia, seems bizarre to me:
    The International System of Units (SI) prescribes inserting a space between a number and a unit of measurement and between units in compound units, but never between a prefix and a base unit.[22]
    5.0 cm not 5.0cm or 5.0 c m
    45 kg not 45kg or 45 k g
    32 °C not 32°C or 32° C
    20 kN m not 20 kNm or 20 k Nm
    50 % not 50% (Note: % is not an SI unit, and many style guides do not follow this recommendation)
    The only exception to this rule is the SI the symbolic notation of angles: degree (e.g., 30°), minute of arc (e.g., 22′), and second of arc (e.g., 8″).
    Especially the temperature and percent ones.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Hear him, hear him.
    But in general, authors are the very last people who should be allowed to do layout, as a glance at a lot of self-published books should make clear (present company in this forum excepted, I'm sure). One has to be able to step back from the words and see the page and letters as a pattern, which can be nudged into a more or less pleasing form. It's a different sort of art. And too many print books, even from publishing houses, nowadays look like they're just an e-book poured on to the page - no-one has broken up the rivers, sorted the widows and orphans, adjusted the kerning on the chapter headings, or trimmed out hyphen build-up at the right margin or large justification spaces in the body of the text.
    I find it disproportionately annoying. My wife says I have a special sigh that she recognizes as my "hyphen at the end of a page" sigh.

    So I'm going to start a countermovement, to put typographers back in charge of layout!

    Grant Hutchison
    agreed, in the old days graphic design included the theory of typography, the serifs and sizing, all that stuff but it seems sloppy now. Graphic design is about pictures and the horribly regrettable habit of text over pictures. In a past life I was in a graphics design office and for example we worked on a new font for literally the small print size 6 or even smaller. Designs were tested by readers and the change introduced by just the right serifs and sizing were surprising to me. The objective was not as a cynic might think, to make it harder to read small print, but to make it as easy as possible.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  11. #41
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    I was just now reading a magazine printed in 1990. It has very clean full justified text with single spaces after the periods. It is easy to read and parse, and I never gave the spacing after the periods a thought until seeing this thread. I think ease of parsing is more about good syntax and refraining from writing run-on sentences, as opposed to the size of the space after a period.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I was just now reading a magazine printed in 1990. It has very clean full justified text with single spaces after the periods. It is easy to read and parse, and I never gave the spacing after the periods a thought until seeing this thread. I think ease of parsing is more about good syntax and refraining from writing run-on sentences, as opposed to the size of the space after a period.
    Addendum: I typed that post with double spaces after the periods. When I posted it, the system changed it to single spaces, and I would not have noticed it if it had not been called to my attention. I certainly never noticed it before. This seems to be much ado about a trifle for the purpose of writing in this forum.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Addendum: I typed that post with double spaces after the periods. When I posted it, the system changed it to single spaces, and I would not have noticed it if it had not been called to my attention. I certainly never noticed it before. This seems to be much ado about a trifle for the purpose of writing in this forum.
    If you quote it, you'll see that it still has double spaces, as does the one you just wrote. It's likely an issue of the way web browsers treat HTML content, as Strange pointed out. Preformatted text (like code blocks) leaves the spaces intact:

    Code:
    Addendum:  I typed that post with double spaces after the periods.  When I posted it, the system changed it to single spaces, and I would not have noticed it if it had not been called to my attention.  I certainly never noticed it before.  This seems to be much ado about a trifle for the purpose of writing in this forum.

  14. #44
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    When I wrote text processing code, I was grateful for the difference between sentence-terminating periods (dot-space-space), and abbreviation periods (dot-space), so that I could locate these without artificial intelligence. Too many of our symbols have multiple roles in punctuation. It's probably too late to create new differences, but let's keep those that we have. Not just for programmers, but for people learning the language. If we had slightly-differing apostrophes for possessives, for contractions, and for the occasional plural, that would avoid another pitfall that is well documented here.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    If we had slightly-differing apostrophes for possessives, for contractions, and for the occasional plural, that would avoid another pitfall that is well documented here.
    If it had always been that way, maybe, but if it were introduced now in a world of just one kind of apostrophe and many people already insisting on using it wrong, adding more would only complicate things and cause even more people to use them even more wronger. (A similar problem is also why I wouldn't suggest using diacritics to better differentiate among our more-than-five vowel sounds; no matter how clean and neat and perfect the system was, the random-apostrophization-&-deapostrophization crowd would find ways to ruin it.)

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    UNTIE? From our keyboards?


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  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    When I wrote text processing code, I was grateful for the difference between sentence-terminating periods (dot-space-space), and abbreviation periods (dot-space), so that I could locate these without artificial intelligence. Too many of our symbols have multiple roles in punctuation. It's probably too late to create new differences, but let's keep those that we have. Not just for programmers, but for people learning the language. If we had slightly-differing apostrophes for possessives, for contractions, and for the occasional plural, that would avoid another pitfall that is well documented here.
    Printers have removed letters from the English alphabet, so it's possible (I've not looked) that single quotes once differed from apostrophes. Typewriting is probably responsible for the omission of diacritical marks from English words like résumé, façade, and naïf.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

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  18. #48
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    When I was a little kid learning to write sentences, it seemed to me that the exclamation and question marks were just special cases of periods, and so it bothered me when I was told to use them inside sentences.

    "Why not?" replied the fellow.
    "Halt!" ordered the policeman.
    Now, that looked just terrible to me. You picked up after what should have been a full stop with more text beginning with a lower-case letter.
    I made up, on the spot, my own less-drastic versions of these special symbols, with a proper comma instead of a dot at their base, explaining my logic when it was questioned.
    The teacher said: sorry, but that's not the way we do it. I accepted that, but still didn't like it.
    Last edited by DonM435; 2017-Jul-06 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Deleted extra punctuation.

  19. #49
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    Actually, with the variable character width used in most communication today, there isn't much difference in single or double spaces. You have to go out of your way to show a space. We always show computer text in courier typeface so that the user can see where the spaces really are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    However, I'm a bit baffled at the reason for U+FEF F, the zero-width, no-break space, which makes no difference to either c haracter spacing or layout...
    I have used it, for example after a dash to ensure that a line-break does not occur at that point.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Printers have removed letters from the English alphabet, so it's possible (I've not looked) that single quotes once differed from apostrophes. Typewriting is probably responsible for the omission of diacritical marks from English words like résumé, façade, and naïf.
    Actually, I believe it's a combination of laziness and the fact that native words don't use diacriticals. And if you're referring to the thorn, that died out in English long before printing. It was being replaced with "th" by the fourteenth century.
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  22. #52
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    Are 1.999999~ spaces equal to 2 spaces?
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  23. #53
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    And is twice the absence of a character any worse than once?

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Printers have removed letters from the English alphabet, so it's possible (I've not looked) that single quotes once differed from apostrophes.
    I did some research on this recently for a blog post about quotation marks.
    It would appear that printers simply pressed the comma into use for two different purposes.
    The first was to replace a marginal sign used in manuscripts, called a diple, which indicated interesting text (usually quotations from the Bible). Printers replaced this with commas in the body of the text, distinguishing them by doubling and/or raising and/or inverting and/or reversing them, and generalized their use to all quotations and direct speech. There are still around five styles of comma quotation marks in use in Europe today. French printers initially used double middle commas, with the opening quotation mark reversed. This evolved into the guillemet signs (« ») that are used in French today.
    Which freed up the raised comma for a second purpose - it was French printers who first used it to indicate missing letters; the origin of the apostrophe. The possessive apostrophe then evolved from the elision apostrophe. So only when it was adopted outside France did the apostrophe come into conflict with the single quotation mark.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Nope.Um. here. Phooey....

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I have used it, for example after a dash to ensure that a line-break does not occur at that point.
    Interesting.

    My first exposure to it was actually when I somehow inadvertently inserted one in the middle of a word in source code. I still don't know how I did it, but the resulting error messages were incredibly uninformative, with the compiler helpfully suggesting something along the lines of "src/main.cpp:159:18: error: use of undeclared identifier 'rend​erer'; did you mean 'renderer'?".

  27. #57
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    Spacingbetweenwordsandpunctuationwerenotthingsthat havealwaysbeenused

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  28. #58
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    My wife is an executive admin assistant by trade, but was laid off from her job a while back.
    She is currently interviewing for jobs, and during an interview yesterday, they gave her a battery of tests using office software.

    When she came home, she said, "Apparently one space after a period is the 'in' thing these days."
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are 1.999999~ spaces equal to 2 spaces?
    Is this post somehow related to this?

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    It seems most everyone now thinks it's proper to use a single space after a period ending a sentence. As Slate explains, "Who says two spaces is wrong?"


    "Typographers, that's who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences."
    Some of them did. There is also "French spacing", although maybe some of the members here prefer to call it "Freedom spacing".

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