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Re: Spaces after periods (was: Documenting NEWS features for 25.1)

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: Spaces after periods (was: Documenting NEWS features for 25.1)
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:05:47 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.13; emacs

On 2015-12-29, at 18:32, Nikolai Weibull <address@hidden> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 6:05 PM, John Wiegley <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>>>> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> +with the Greek lambda character @samp{λ}. In a TeX buffer, it will
>>>                                            ^^     ^^^
>>> Two spaces between sentences, please (we use the US English
>>> conventions).
>> I almost hate to say this, but I'm not sure this is the English convention
>> anymore. A quick Google shows many, many sites that indicate that the modern
>> convention is now one space, and none that recommend two spaces. I've even
>> changed to one space in my e-mails, even, after being a long holdout for the
>> two space rule.


> I haven’t seen a style guide that says anything other than that one
> space is preferred.  However, I thought the general rule was to use
> two spaces to make it easy for software (oh, the continued irony of it
> all) to distinguish sentence-ending periods from other periods.

Don't really see the irony: this is just plain difficult for a machine.
(I also use two spaces, btw.)

> Also, any typesetting software that doesn’t fold multiple spaces into
> one isn’t a typesetting software.  Microsoft Word isn’t a typesetting
> software.  TeX is a typesetting software, so using multiple spaces
> shouldn’t affect the output at all.  (Perhaps Texinfo is different?)
> Though, TeX, as far as I recall, favors adding space after a period
> when justifying a paragraph.

To be more precise, it does it by default, but it can be turned off (by
\frenchspacing).  Also, in TeX, not only are the spaces after periods
larger, but they also grow "faster" when justifying text (as you said).
See "space factor" in The TeXbook, if you are curious about the
details.  (Interestingly enough, this mechanism can be hackedto achieve
some other goals, too.)

OTOH, Bringhurst criticizes the above style very harshly.

OYAH, https://xkcd.com/1285/ . ;-)


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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