Re: Spacing in general.

Subject: Re: Spacing in general.
From: eilrh -at- EXCHANGE -dot- WCC -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 16:19:00 -0400

Bleccchhh! I think I sent essentially this same rant to the list the
last time I unsubscribed, but-- what the hell--here we go again.

The number of spaces you choose to end a sentence with is a STYLE issue.
And, of course, as is central to the idea of "style," there is no right
or wrong answer. There are benefits and drawbacks to each method, most
of which I think have been pointed out in excruciating and redundant
detail in this thread.

Virtually anyone who's been tech writing for 6 months has heard the
arguments for and against and has probably made up his or her mind on
the issue already.

But let's just take a step back for a minute, and ask ourselves: Who
really cares? Is there really some frustrated user out there who can't
tell when a sentence has ended because there weren't enough spaces to
illustrate the concept? Is someone out there suffering from debilitating
migraines as a result of the chunks of white from the extra spaces at
the end of sentences?

I promise to eat my own head if someone can show me a person who has
actually been quantifiably hindered by reading a document that had the
wrong number of spaces at a sentence end or was ragged right or fully
justified or in Helvetica or Times Roman. And frankly, I find it
disturbing that so much of the traffic on this list has to do with such
silly little topics. Imagine that this time and energy were spent
discussing writing, organizational techniques, and labor-saving tools
instead of these pointless little squabbles.

Sure, style and typesetting issues can affect readability, but the
ability to distinguish important information from unimportant
information is a much more valuable quality in a writer. Think about it.

If you honestly believe that these issues are as important as some of
you are making them out to be, I suggest you look into another line of

eilrh -at- ei -dot- lucent -dot- com

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