Re: <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>: (#94316)

Subject: Re: <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>: (#94316)
From: Bill Burns <wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 14:27:26 MDT

15-JUL-1996 13:06:41.14

>I fail to see why the additional space makes a document more readable.
>The period followed by a space and then a word starting with a capital
>letter is a blatant clue that one sentence is ending and another is beginning.

>The widened space also contributes towards what I think are referred to
>in publishing as "rivers" (vertical columns of white space) which negatively
>affect readability. Aesthetically speaking, it makes a document look more
>choppy which also hinders the eye flow and therefore ease of reading.

Double-spaced text has never struck me as choppy, unless it appears
in justified text layouts and exacerbates an already severe kerning
problem. The typographic arguments don't seem to answer the readability
issue definitively, although they make valid points about the aesthetic
qualities of single spacing. I have heard at least one respected
instructional designer (Dr. Gottfredson) support the practice of
using two spaces to enhance readability.

I still vacillate on this issue. I would be more likely to side with
the single spacers if I saw some indication that single spacing enhances
readability rather than having, at best, a negligible effect on it. I can
think of many instances in which the practice can cause some readability
problems--for example, proper names preceded by titles, abbreviations that
precede acronyms or initialisms (which, admittedly, would be a poor practice in
most situations anyway), or use of punctuation for some trendy marketing scheme.
In such instances, the cue of a sentence's end--period (or other end
punctuation), space, and initial capital--occurs in intermediate sentence

Can someone provide more substantial support for single spacing than its
aesthetic merits?

Bill Burns
Assembly Training and Documentation Supervisor

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