Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The space between

It seems that we are increasingly moving to a world where only one space is used between sentences. I hate this. I absolutely cannot accept it. I find it so much more pleasant to read sentences separated by more space than mere words.

Apparently it's correct to have about 1.5 spaces between sentences, and I think that that's sufficient. But, I can't easily type 1.5 spaces. I've read that some typesetting system (probably TeX) does 1.5 spaces by default, whether you actually type one or two, and that would be lovely. I'd love to see Word and Internet Explorer and Firefox and Avalon have options to automatically control how many spaces are shown between sentences.


Brad Smith said...

I was trained to always put two spaces in after sentences for as long as I can remember, but it turns out that one word-space is the intended size. From 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 extra space between sentences. Generations of twentieth century typists were then taught to do the same, by hitting the spacebar twice after every period [full stop]. Your typing 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, colon or any other mark of punctuation.”

Kerjo said...

Ask anyone that's worked with me on a paper, I kill people that put two spaces after the end of a sentence. (Well, I find/replace it, anyway)

Travis said...

I was never really trained either way, as I never took a typing class (and never learned to type correctly), but I don't like single spacing.

I'm the guy who would find and replace single spaces with double spaces... but of course it didn't come up very often since almost no group actually works on the paper together; all the work is always done by the one person in the group who isn't a slacker.

Anonymous said...

In my mind, the reason I put two spaces in had something to do with touch typing for beginners, but I may be might've just been how we were taught in elementary school.