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Re: lynx-dev lynx2.8.2dev.19 patch #6 (em dash = --)

From: David Combs
Subject: Re: lynx-dev lynx2.8.2dev.19 patch #6 (em dash = --)
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 15:23:15 -0800

On Mon, Mar 15, 1999 at 01:44:13PM -0500, Philip Webb wrote:
> as someone who pays attention to laying material out for easy reading,
> i would vote to add both these changes,
> which have a basis in traditional professional secretarial style,
> which was based on fixed-space typewriting.
> as for the width of  1 em , that belongs in the world of printing,
> which has always had variable-space fonts (since Caxton?),
> not the very different world of on-screen WWW text-browsing,
> which retains the fixed-space layout from typewriter days,
> even if some WWW jargon has been imported from the printing world.
> i'd say `  ' is as useful for readability as `--':
> both can help a bit here & there, depending on context.

Well, I sure don't like just several spaces!   Especially THESE
days, with tyros using computers and sending email and writing
text and bad html.  ALL THE TIME i see horrendously-formatted stuff
, with multiple spaces between    words, no spaces between words,
etc (commas at the left margin!).  

Seems to me we really need the two hyphens.  I mean, when we write
by hand, we don't just leave eg one inch of black space to indicate
the meaning associated with an em-dash.

Also, if we map an emdash onto blankspace, how is the READER to
know we've done that?

Maybe we can fudge the html so it looks better on mono-spaced
fonts (well, actually typewriter fonts), but we sure shouldn't
fudge the English language (or whatever other languages also
use such em-dashes)!


Tell me, is this idea of mapping an em-dash into blankspace
really SERIOUS within this group.  I mean, is there a quorum 
of people for this idea?  

If not just one person's idea, then we better talk about it
a LOT more before implementing anything!

IMHO  (well, IMnotSoHO)


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