On 11/30/05, Gavin Sinclair <gsinclair / gmail.com> wrote:
> Austin Ziegler wrote:
>>> 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.)
> What rot.  How can anything like that be a fact?  You're regurgitating
> the opinion of a style manual.

Um. No, I'm stating fact. This isn't mere opinion: two spaces were done
to simulate em-spaces in fixed pitch environments. That's a fact. The
reason for that may often be forgotten, but it *remains* a fact. Please
remember that I've done quite a bit of typesetting-style work in the
last year with PDF::Writer and I have to know a bit more about this than
most folks, and it's something of a hobby of mine in any case to know
about printing mechanisms.

The only *opinion* I stated was that the first poster in the chain above
(I think Jeffrey) was taught wrongly. I maintain that as true
regardless, because if he was taught two spaces without the reason why,
then there's a practice being repeated for no good reason.

The practice is nonsense these days in most contexts.

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