Re: space space

Subject: Re: space space
From: Sharon Moore <"ENG::MOORE"@ADMIN.MTI.COM>
Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 10:04:54 -0700

I am the manager of a technical publications department. In editing the work
of a new writer a couple of years ago, I changed his single-spacing after
periods to double spaces. He told me that he had learned in college to do this,
but I told him I had never heard of it. We continued to use two spaces.

Soon after, however, I employed a novel method of assessing his comments - I
read what the experts had to say. Here are the references I found today in my
office. There are a lot more in bookstores and libraries.

The Desktop Style Guide by James Felici: "Punctuation marks, including periods,
commas, colons, and semicolons, should be followed by only one word space."

Collier's Rules for Desktop Design and Typography: "Typists make two spaces
after a full point before beginning the next sentence. This looks horrible when
typeset, so always search for and replace any double spaces."

Looking Good in Print by Roger Parker: "Rivers are caused by gaps between
words...They're especially likely to occur when two spaces instead of one are
inserted after periods."

National Association of Desktop Publishers Journal (July 1993): "As desktop
publishers in this new age, we have all had to adjust to a paradigm shift as we
become our own professional typesetters....We've heard all about the
typesetting standards of setting one space after periods, using en and em
spaces, [etc.],...but there are other details that determine the subtle
distinction between delightful and dorky."

WordPerfect for Windows Magazine (March 1993): "Some typewriter habits are bad
news for computer-based typesetting. One habit in particular should be avoided;
pressing the space bar twice after punctuation. Yes, I know that on a
typewriter you had to space twice so you could read the document better. Well,
you're not using a typewriter now, so stop it."

I am old and don't like upstart kids to tell me I am wrong. I had to overcome
being wrong AND the habit of double spacing myself. The latter was easier than
the former.

moore -at- admin -dot- mti -dot- com

** My employer probably cares nothing about this topic and presumably does
not even know that I have an opinion on it. **

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