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Re: Sentence-end punctuation

From: Reimer Behrends
Subject: Re: Sentence-end punctuation
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 17:06:17 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Fri, Aug 31, 2001 at 01:12:15PM -0400, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> In that vein though it's important to note that many guides to
> preparation of electronic manuscripts (at least all the ones I've ever
> read) have always recommended leaving two spaces after punctuation that
> ends sentences.

This can become a somewhat religious topic, but modern typography
demands a single space after punctuation, with hardly any exceptions.
Quoth Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style":

"In the nineteenth century, which was a dark and inflationary age in
typography and type design, many compositors were encouraged to stuff
extra space between sentences. Generations of twentieth-century typists
were then taught to do the same, by hitting the spacebar twice after
each period. Your typing as well as your typesetting will benefit from
unlearning this quaint Victorian habit. As a general rule, no more than
a single space is required after a period, a colon or any other mark of
punctuation. Larger spaces (e.g., en spaces) are /themselves/

"The rule is usually altered, however, when setting classical Latin and
Greek, romanized Sanskrit, phonetics or other kinds of texts in which
sentences begin with lowercase letters. In the absence of a capital, a
full /en space/ (M/2) between sentences will generally be welcome."

Or from Sean Cavanaugh's Rules of Typography at:


I am usually using either /lout/ or /compress/ for spacing myself.

                        Reimer Behrends

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