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Re: [Groff] [Heirloom] Double word space after :

From: James K. Lowden
Subject: Re: [Groff] [Heirloom] Double word space after :
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:03:41 -0500

On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:08:12 +0100 (CET)
Carsten Kunze <address@hidden> wrote:

> by default Heirloom troff inserts a double word space if a line ends
> with ":".  Is this correct US English typography?

It is not incorrect.  Typographical convention has varied over time and
treatment of the colon along with it.  So, "correct" is hard to pin

I was taught 500 moons ago that a colon may be followed by one or two
spaces depending on purpose.  Examples:  

1.      There is only one thing to fear: fear itself.  
2.      Proceed as follows:  First, assume a can opener.  

The troff behavior would seem to support that notion.  If the
succeeding clause is independent, put it on a different line and let
troff treat it as end-of-sentence.  If it's not, leave it in the
running text and let troff treat as end-of-word. 


P.S. What is the German practice?

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