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Re: line adjustment at the end of a sentence

From: Yuri Khan
Subject: Re: line adjustment at the end of a sentence
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:44:54 +0700

On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 12:12 AM, Ludwig, Mark <> wrote:

> The number of spaces between English sentences has been gradually switching 
> from two to one.

Differentiating between end-of-sentence full stop and in-sentence
period by the number of spaces is an artifact of pre-Unicode
typography. When the only available space was the ASCII 0x20, it made
sense. Now it doesn’t, as we have the U+0020 SPACE, the U+00A0
respectively, as well as other fixed-width spaces.

> Why are you annoyed by two spaces between sentences?  I'd think one's eye 
> would just skip right over the extra space.

One place where two spaces are double plus annoying is when people try
to apply this rule to the Web. As HTML by definition collapses all
runs of consecutive whitespace, they have to make one of the spaces a
non-breaking space. So it becomes either NBSP+SPACE, or SPACE+NBSP.
Now suppose the line is wrapped at this sequence. In the former case,
the NBSP will be left last on the line; if the paragraph is justified,
it will make a ragged right. In the latter case it is even worse — the
NBSP will wrap onto the second line, making a ragged left.

Today, the logical rule is to put a space where the line may be
wrapped and where justification may modify space width; a non-breaking
space where line may not be broken and width must be preserved; and
one of the fixed width spaces where line break is OK but width must be
fixed. I see no reason to selectively apply it to the Web only.

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