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Subject:Re: Spacing after periods From:"Wolfe, William J. CER" <w-wolfe -at- CECER -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL> Date:Wed, 3 Mar 1999 08:10:23 -0600
I've found that there's a couple of orientations people take toward rules.
Radio commentator Paul Harvey once said that we neeeded to teach our
children to mind their grammar because, "If you let them ignore the rules of
grammar, what other rules will they ignore next?" In other words, "Let them
split an infinitive, and the Sandinistas will be on your doorstep in 2
But seriously, the attitude that "right is right" is indeed a strong one.
We take comfort in knowing "what is right" and we feel assured when we're
"doing the right thing. On the other hand, technocrats and professionals
often define themselves by their jargon and style parameters. So, if you
don't know the "correct" point-space convention, then you're just not "one
From what I gather, the point-space issue entered limbo about the time when
computers started using proportional font spacing, which allows spacing
between words (and sentences, regardless of the number of spaces there) to
vary a bit to "scrunch" words together in different (for example,
full-justified) contexts, to make text readable, hypenate rationally, etc.
My own solution has been to let a word-processing macros do the job for me.
I have a very nice Wordperfect macro that cleans up spacing problems in new
manuscripts (and queries whether to put the extra space in after a
sentence), and I use a borrowed macro to do the same thing in MS Word.
And yes, in our shop, we use two spaces after a point -- at my boss's
direction. At least by taking the automated approach, I can switch style
parameters if the boss changes, or if the style gestapo comes knocking.
> I'm almost, but not entirely, sorry that I asked.
> I cannot for the life of me, though, understand why anyone would feel it
> was necessary or even well-advised to respond to me with the following:
> If you are still typing two spaces, then you are doing so incorrectly.
> Such a mistake marks you as a novice ... <<SNIP>>