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

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] [Heirloom] Double word space after :
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:53:20 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Fri, Nov 14, 2014, Mike Bianchi wrote:
> It seems ease of reading or better comprehension (which are the reasons I
> prefer extra space after sentences, etc.) have nothing to do with "the rules."
> Sigh.

I wouldn't say "nothing," but the issue of spacing between sentences
is tricky and hard to pin down with a rule or algorithm.  The choice
of typeface plays an important role.  Overall, Didone typefaces
don't benefit from sentence spacing.  For example, the contrast
between thick and thin in Bodoni creates a rhythm that becomes
choppy when sentence spacing is introduced.  On the other hand,
the readability of humanist typefaces like Garamond is improved by
discreet "pauses" in the flow of text.

The matter gets more complicated when you have sentences that end
with "r." or "y.".  The period should be kerned back, which can
result in visibly uneven sentence spacing.  Same goes for sentences
that begin with "T" or "W" or "Y".  Without some manual adjustment,
the space between sentences appears larger than the prevailing norm.

BTW--something I've never figured out is whether it's possible to
set up kern pairs in groff font files that have "space" as the first
element of the pair.  I pipe my files through sed(1) to catch
space-W, space-T, etc and kern them, but it would be great to have
these pairs included in the kerning tables.

Peter Schaffter

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