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Re: Sentence-end punctuation

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: Sentence-end punctuation
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 16:44:18 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Friday, August 31, 2001 at 21:51:20 (+0200), Michael Piotrowski wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Sentence-end punctuation
> Well, there are many subtle differences in typesetting customs between
> the many languages that use the Latin alphabet, although, under the
> influence of American-written word processors, many of them will
> probably disappear.

Do you (or anyone else) have any (preferrably online) references to
documentation describing such regional typesetting customs, and their

> This is exactly my point: As far as I know, this usage is something
> very specific to the English language (or its American variant?).  You
> wouldn't do this in German.

My point was that regardless of what human language your document is
written in, you should alwasy delineate sentences with double spaces
when you're preparing an electronic manuscript in any markup "language",
and the widely published guides I've read all say the same thing too.

The same rules of thumb were strongly advised for typists in
pre-computer days too.

Typically even with text typeset and kerned with a variable-width font
face there's more visible whitespace at the end of a sentence than there
is between any two words (at least in an unjustified paragraph).  This
is true even in German and French magazines and books I've examined.

However in a mono-spaced font face, such as you obviously get with
almost any mechanical typewriter, and which many of us still prefer on a
computer screen, the resulting wider space between sentences is
extremely valuable for the human reader and makes the text flow to the
eyes much better.

These issues are independent of language -- all humans have very similar
visual perception capabilities.  Typsetting is very much about making
text easy to read ("letter quality" and all that...).  The additional
space between sentences is as important as sentence structure is to the
human language in question.

                                                        Greg A. Woods

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