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Justified Writing

A kind of puzzle
  [vote for,

(What? No "Writing" category?)

See the link. Your browser should open the page in a monospace (fixed-width) font. Look CAREFULLY at the text (you don't have to read the story). I think I independently invented this, and don't know of any significant examples of this writing style by others.

While it is obvious that each line of the linked text (except for the last of each paragraph) has the same number of characters, it is not so obvious how it was achieved using a monospace font.

Traditionally, for a monospace font, the normal trick is to semi-randomly add extra spaces in-between words, to make each line come out the same length. But in the linked text there is always just one space between words, and just two spaces after each period or question mark or exclamation mark or colon (not counting paragraph breaks).

Which means the text must have been WRITTEN so that each line would come out the same length! Yet the text reads basically "normally" (if a bit wordy, but you-all know that is normal for me!) --the text is not particularly "stilted" or "forced".

So, what if you were to attempt to write something in that manner? That is the puzzle! To select words such that they read normally yet fit precisely in the space available. Remember that you can choose any width you like; all you have to do is stick with it.

Good luck!

Vernon, Mar 28 2013

Example of Justified Writing http://1632.org/1632Slush/ROF-2.txt
As described in the main text. [Vernon, Mar 28 2013]


       The easiest way would be to compose writing in Twitter, because it counts characters and imposes a limit.
rcarty, Mar 28 2013

       What about an automatic writing justifier? You take your unjustified writing sample, and it detects the best column width for justification. Then it goes through and adds filler words (“thus”, “so”, “well”, “therefore”, etc.) and extra punctuation as necessary. Lastly, it replaces words with synonyms of differing lengths in order to get each line to fit as closely as possible. The resultant product should only require a bit of manual cleanup to make sure it maintains a minimum standard of readability.
ytk, Mar 28 2013

       Change "Pefectly" to "Perfectly" in the 17th paragraph and you will gain a space and lose an ironic typo. (Nice work though.)
AusCan531, Mar 28 2013

       This could be word processor add-in which replaces words with synonyms until perfect justification is achieved. It would have been great to have this 30 years ago when people still used monospaced fonts.
hippo, Mar 28 2013

       Monospace fonts are typographic abominations.
pocmloc, Mar 28 2013

       example of an autogram: This sentence contains only three a's, three c's, two d's, twenty-five e's, nine f's, four g's, eight h's, twelve i's, three l's, fifteen n's, nine o's, eight r's, twenty-four s's, eighteen t's, five u's, four v's, six w's, two x's, and four y's   

       I first came across these in Douglas Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas. It remains one of my favourite books.
xenzag, Mar 28 2013

       [+] Bravo.
FlyingToaster, Mar 28 2013

       It is a clever idea, but I'm afraid If it contains mispellings of different length to the original (eg. "oustandingly") then that's essentially a replacement for adding spaces.
Similarly, inventive use of punctuation.

       I do like the idea, and I like the idea of a program to auto-justify text.
I'd do synonyms first, and where that failed see if sentences could be re-arranged using a set of patterns. For example "this and[CR]that" could become that and[CR]this.

       Semi-automation would be fairly straightforward and likely would give the best results. But if it could be completely automated then dragging the text width and watching it reformat would be a sight to behold.
Loris, Mar 28 2013

       I do this sometimes if I'm writing in a context which uses monospace fonts (eg Bugzilla comments).   

       I've heard it referred to as "bricklaying".
Wrongfellow, Mar 28 2013

       [AusCan531] and [Loris], yes, I know the example text has some typos in it. However, there has been no need to update it because the story did not get accepted for publication. That is, I don't know that if I corrected the typos and submitted it, they would replace the old file on their web site with the new one.   

       Anyway, I'm quite sure that if I did fix the typos, I could also edit the verbiage to maintain the justification of the text. There are quite-more- than-enough lines of text in the file, which have zero typos, to back that statement up.
Vernon, Mar 28 2013

       //For example "this and[CR]that" could become that and[CR]this//   

       But “that” and “this” both have four characters, so your suggestion would make no difference.
pocmloc, Mar 28 2013

       //But “that” and “this” both have four characters, so your suggestion would make no difference.//   

       You're right. However, I assume they were intended as metasyntactic variables.
Loris, Oct 26 2015


       " I think I independently invented this "
normzone, Oct 26 2015

       Is justification [Vernon]'s justification for "randomly" putting quotation marks around ordinary words?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 28 2015

       Noted as a NaNoGenMo idea.
notexactly, Nov 09 2015

       [+] This idea is a form of “constrained writing”. I’ve never heard of this constraint before. Perhaps you should join the Oulipo.   

       I / am / now / post / haste / (sort of) / posting / new topic / to discuss. /   

       do you enjoy / constraints? / does word play / give headeaches? / are you confused? /   

       This is a snowball, / A poetic form which / was created by those / who group themselves / with the name of Oulipo. / Every line contains one / Additional letter. U like?
CraigD, Nov 20 2015


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