On 11/30/05, Jeffrey Schwab <jeff / schwabcenter.com> wrote:
> Austin Ziegler wrote:
> > On 11/29/05, Kevin Olbrich <kevin.olbrich / duke.edu> wrote:
> >>Depending on the text you might be able to search for a period (or other
> >>punctuation) followed by two spaces.  It's not robust, but if you know that
> >>convention will be followed by the authors, then it can work.
> > That, in fact, is a very *bad* metric to follow, as the proper spacing
> > after sentence punctuation is a single space. The only reason that two
> > spaces was used in the past is the space used between sentence endings
> > in typeset work is a little wider than that used between words (an
> > em-space vs. an en-space).
> Not true at all.  I was always taught to use double spaces after
> sentences in grade-school homework assignments done on plain word
> processors or typewriters.

Then, quite honestly, you were taught wrong. I was taught to use
double spaces with a typewriter or when using fixed-pitch fonts
(although that was later, since most computers and printers didn't
have reliable kerning routines until I was out of university).
Ultimately, the use of double spaces after a period is wrong *even
with fixed-pitch fonts*, but it was done to be clearer since the width
of the em-space and an en-space on a typewriter with a Courier-like
font is exactly the same. The two spaces *simulates* an em-space in a
typeset piece of work. (And that is *fact*, not opinion.)

-austin
--
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca