Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Business Failure Incubator

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.




This probably sounds more interesting than it is...
  [vote for,

When typing, shift and space should do a double space.
This would allow a full stop to be typed, then shift to be held for the space and the first capital.
This would allow for slightly quicker typing, but would also be a bit neater, allowing for double spacing to consistently used.
MikeOliver, Apr 20 2004

For the typographically ignorant http://www.amazon.c...17?v=glance&s=books
[DrCurry, Oct 05 2004]

There is only one space after a period http://channel9.msd...ost.aspx?PostID=112
An entire forum devoted to this topic [hippo, Oct 05 2004]

The Chicago Manual of Style http://www.press.uc....OneSpaceorTwo.html
...reccommends one space [hippo, Oct 05 2004]

LyX http://www.lyx.org/
Make your documents look like AMS journal articles. [Detly, Oct 05 2004]


       Was fully expecting a string theory addendum :)
theircompetitor, Apr 20 2004

       I am guessing this will disappoint alot of people.
Sorry all!
MikeOliver, Apr 20 2004

       Note that two spaces after a period/full stop is actually incorrect typesetting, and not appropriate in a word processor. (It's an artefact of typewriter styles, but I really don't know how it arose.)   

       Btw, Ctrl-Shift-Space gives you a "hard" (non-breaking) space in Word.
DrCurry, Apr 20 2004

       I was always taught to double space after a full stop.
Can you back that claim up with a link curry?
MikeOliver, Apr 20 2004

       Read any good book on typesetting. I'll post a link.
DrCurry, Apr 20 2004

       Two spaces after a sentence is commonly taught as standard typesetting.
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 20 2004

       OK curry, i accept it is typographically incorrect, but enough people actually do it, then this still might be a good idea.
In fact if enough people agree it is the right way to do it, then does that not make it so...
MikeOliver, Apr 20 2004

       I disagree with [DrCurry]. Two spaces after a period is considered correct. At least in the US.
zigness, Apr 20 2004

       Maybe you could make the package do an em space if your font supports it.   

       DrC: This may be completely cultural, but my understanding is that there should be a larger space (usually an em space) after a full stop. Since typewriters, which were originally monospaced, were incapable of producing an em space, people started using two spaces after a full stop. When we moved on/back to systems that were capable of proportional spacing, the concept of an em space had been lost in most of the users and probably some of the developers.   

       I remember doing a double space when providing input for an old compugraphic typesetter. PCs couldn't provide em spaces so the software that converted from PC disks converted double spaces into em spaces. We therefore typed doublespaces knowing that they'd be typeset as em spaces.   

       Where's Rods when you need him?
st3f, Apr 20 2004

       Maybe it is in your part of the US [zigness] but it certainly isn't in mine.   

       One place where two spaces after a period is considered useful is for on screen reading.  Like this.   

       As for print documents, Jan Tschichold, writing in his landmark “The Form of the Book” says: “After a period at the end of a sentence or abbreviation, the space should be the normal one used between the words of the line. Only in widely spaced lines is it permitted to leave a larger gap, and in this case, commas and hyphens should be treated in the same way. Between a word and parentheses there must be spaces, except before A,J,T,V,W,Y, after a period, and in tightly spaced lines.”   

       In Robert Bringhurst's book “The Elements of Typographic Style” he writes: “Use a single word space between sentences.” He continues with: “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 space bar 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 punctuation.
    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 lower case letters. In the absence of a capital, a full en space (m/2) between sentences will generally be welcomed.”
bristolz, Apr 20 2004

       st3f: not in the least bit cultural.
ydyd: that's "typewriting", not "typesetting". Or get your money back.
bristolz: how'd you do that?   Oh, yeah.
all: there are a heck of a lot of things we do or don't do in standard practice that are typographically incorrect, simply because the people who designed computers and the Internet were computer people, not graphic artists and typographers. Read the referenced book for a thorough overview.
DrCurry, Apr 20 2004

       There are a heck of a lot of things we do or don't do in standard practice that are typographically incorrect, simply because the people who consider themselves typography experts say so.
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 20 2004

       I suppose but I, personally, wouldn't invest a lot of effort designing and building a tool or feature that automatically inserts the incorrect space.
bristolz, Apr 20 2004

       Either the dot at the end of a sentence or the upper case letter at the beginning of a sentence should be eliminated. There is no need to indicate twice that a sentence ends.   

       I vote for eliminating the upper case letter. Currently a leading upper case letter may also also indicate a name, but that is a waste too. A simple name-tag character like an underscore would do, e.g. _mikeoliver. This would eliminated all upper case letters.   

       Kids would learn to write much faster and could dedicate more time to really useful things. It would be impossible to have those stupid case sensitive passwords. There would be no more time wasted on discussions about the use of upper and lower case letters. The economy would save billions.
kbecker, Apr 20 2004

       Steve: Unless the "correct" number of spaces is always one, auto-correction is much more difficult than it would seem, if not altogether impossible, since it is possible for a sentence to have multiple meanings and for the correct punctuation and spacing to vary based upon meaning.   

       I can't think of any good examples off-hand for spacing, but an analogous situation in text-to-speech conversion occurs in the following sentence: "In the moring, I read the newspaper and saw a few pieces of wood." The sentence may be read as being in the present or past tence; the action performed on the wood will vary depending upon the tense chosen.
supercat, Apr 20 2004

       kbecker: The real problem is not that there exists more than one 'case' for each of the 26 letters, but rather that typography has been thrown out the window in limitting things to two cases. In typography there are three cases of text; in handwriting, use of three cases would be appropriate as well.
supercat, Apr 20 2004

       What's the third?
RayfordSteele, Apr 20 2004

       If anything like this is implemented, please make it a client-side preference. I have always, and will always* use a single space at the end of a sentence.   

       One of my newer supervisors is a gentleman old enough to have learned to type well before PCs were commonplace. He insists that all sentences should have a double space at the end, regardless of font width. From the research I’ve done, I find that double spaces are a relic of fixed width typewriters, and so I don’t hate _reading_ double spaces in a fixed width font.   

       My employer (U. S. government) maintains a writing style manual that clearly supports the single space argument; however, experience tells me to use the double space when generating documents, or prepare to have them kicked back by the management. It does help that he likes Courier New, too. If I could covertly set up his computer to always display this way, he would never know I was going it the *right* way.   



       *until cognizant authority shall force me, or pay me, to change.
swamilad, Apr 20 2004

       That HTML only supports single spacing in the standard should be telling.
bristolz, Apr 20 2004

       I always hated that. I'm a died-in-the-wool double-spacer, even here. It just looks more readable to me.
RayfordSteele, Apr 20 2004

       ...  there's a special place in pedant hell.
dpsyplc, Apr 20 2004

       How did you do the multiple spaces?
Detly, Apr 20 2004

       Yeah, down with the double-space. That went out the door with the old IBM electric.   

       Ray, double-space all you want here. The second space gets absorbed. You never see it.
waugsqueke, Apr 20 2004

       That'd be that HTML standard absorption. . . .
bristolz, Apr 20 2004


       About that spaced four-dot ellipsis...
waugsqueke, Apr 20 2004

       //"What's the third?" small caps?//   

       Bingo. Required to properly typeset things like "A.M." or "P.M.", among other usages.
supercat, Apr 21 2004

       It's not a four dot ellipsis but it is spaced, yes.
bristolz, Apr 21 2004

       This seems to have gone a little off topic...
The issue isn't whether or not to double space, but a solution for those who do.
The fact that fact that this may be incorrect or not has no relevence to the idea (just as driving fast is incorrect, but cars are still built that drive fast).
I have a strong feeling that the +5/-5 vote only highlights those who do double space versus those who don't.
BTW i don't double space, although i was taught to (mainly cos i forget).
MikeOliver, Apr 21 2004

       Nice to see that everyone here cares so much about punctuation.
DrCurry, Apr 21 2004

       // ...In typography there are three cases of text...//   

       Um, lower case, upper case and ... middle case?
Bold/italic/subscript/superscript - (obviously not).

       What is is for, anyway, this third case?   


       Ah... Illuminated capitals, for starting a chapter.
Perhaps there is a mythical fourth case, for starting a library, at the start of the book "Aaaarrgghh, Spider!" by Lydia Monks


       [edited, tee hee]
Loris, Apr 21 2004

       //forth case// Is that not missing a capital letter, and would the library not be rather wet in that case?   

       In my humble opinion, the adoption of two spaces as the international standard after a full stop would be preferable (with, of course, the usual capitalisation) as it makes the identification of the start of each sentence easier for the reader without adding excessively to the typing or printing requirements.   

       As an aside, official Civil Service documents in the UK used to be typed with three spaces after each full stop and two after commas, colons etc. This was reduced to two and one spaces respectively some time in the 1960's.
suctionpad, Apr 21 2004

       suctionpad: those darn government cut-backs...
xx: along with punctuation in general...?
DrCurry, Apr 21 2004

       //Um, lower case, upper case and ... middle case? Hypercase? Bold/italic/subscript/superscript - (obviously not). //   

       As RayfordSteele noted, smallcaps. Properly used for certain abbreviations such as "A.M.", and for a number of instances where words would otherwise be written as allcaps.   

       And for some fonts, it would be appropriate to have a fourth case for consecutive capital letters in places where full-size caps are appropriate, but where the capital letters in the font work very poorly next to each other.   

       Incidentally, I've seen lead type with two styles of "Q"--one with a tail which hangs under the following "u", and one with a shorter tail, for use in places where the "Q" isn't followed immediately by a "u".
supercat, Apr 21 2004

       "a number of instances where words would otherwise be written as allcaps" - acronyms, you mean? Or are there other circumstances?   

       And, yes, several letters should change shape depending on their neighbors - they're called ligatures. ff, fi, and fl are the best known examples. According to a very quick Web search, TeX takes care of this automatically. From my experience, you can type them on a Mac, but Windows doesn't easily do them.   

       Many fonts contains special letters for letters that should change shape in certain circumstances, but they have to be entered by hand and are usually flagged as typos by spell check.
DrCurry, Apr 21 2004

       //"What's the third?" small caps?//

Agh, small caps! The work of the devil, indeed. And not a case, but just a rather ugly (most of the time) piece of typography.
hippo, Apr 21 2004

       Oh, I dunno. Copperplate isn't bad if a bit overused.
bristolz, Apr 21 2004

       Well, things like "Qu" are indeed ligatures, so perhaps that wasn't the greatest example, but some fonts have hugely swishy capitals that tend to intersect when placed adjacent to each other (or even, in some cases, when placed to the right of just about anything other than a blank). While the intersections could be avoided via kerning tables, many script fonts' capital letters cannot be spaced so as to appear reasonable in all such circumstances. Adding lots of ligatures to the font would fix things, but in many cases the decision regarding which letter form to use depends upon factors other than the left and right letters.   

       BTW, for optimal typography there should also be two sets of numbers--one for use in tabular data; the other for use in tex. Unfortunately, that seems to have gone by the wayside.
supercat, Apr 21 2004

       But there's no reason at all for it to go by the wayside. Although the placement of letters and use of ligatures is a matter of judgment, that judgment is consistent within a given font and can be encapsulated in a series of rules, and computers are nothing if not good at applying rules.   

       When I last used TeX (way before LaTeX), I was able to program in nice booky things like having a page heading reflect the most recent subheading, which wasn't possible for the longest time in Word.
DrCurry, Apr 21 2004

       Sure you can [DC], if you know VBA.
bristolz, Apr 21 2004

       //Incidentally, I've seen lead type with two styles of "Q"--one with a tail which hangs under the following "u", and one with a shorter tail, for use in places where the "Q" isn't followed immediately by a "u".\\
I've seen examples with several options for many of the letters. Basically for frontispieces, I think.

       Doesn't having "small capitals" as an extra case beg for the existence of "big lowercase" as a calligraphic equivalent of super-symmetry?   


       // I use LaTeX a lot, but i think it makes everything look like it was printed in the Soviet Union in 1952, which is a bit forbidding i think.\\
Yeah, I know the problem. Backwards 'R's, left-right 'K's, upside down 'N's and so on.
Loris, Apr 22 2004

       bris: ah, haven't tried it lately, so I'll take your point on that. (I am glad that we have advanced that far, though. That used to be something that really irritated me.)
DrCurry, Apr 22 2004

       I find that the space bar is the most satisfying key to hit. It makes an excellent thunk, and the double whack with the thumb as doubly excellent. I wish there were occasions for three spaces - that third thunk is a real visceral pleasure.   

       In word it should be possible to make a control-space macro to be 2 spaces.
bungston, Apr 22 2004

       [grayure] The LaTex look so 1952 because you didn't know about all the little tweaks. I never learned them either. I always wished for a real wordprocessor that generates LaTex files so I could see what the tweaks were and do the real fine tuning in the file. Like VBA where you can record a macro first and then edit it.
kbecker, Apr 22 2004

       [kbecker] have you seen LyX? It's only available for Linux, though, but I love it.
Detly, Apr 22 2004

       Bung three spaces followed by backspace would give you that pleasure.
engineer1, Apr 23 2004

       space space backspace space space backspace.
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 23 2004

       // Apparently, Mike, this is a lot more interesting than it sounds. [tsuka] //   

Bamboo, Apr 23 2004

       [Detly], thanks for the info, going by description it looks like it is what I want (my, I'm lucky I didn't post that as an idea)   

       [grayure], what info? You and [D] know already about LyX. VBA comes with Word and Excel.
kbecker, Apr 23 2004

       On how to make things look like they weren't printed in the Soviet Union in 1952, I would guess. (Perhaps a font change from Cyrillic is all s/he really needs...)
DrCurry, Apr 23 2004

       // spaced-out character //   

       Like Amy Winehouse ?
8th of 7, May 09 2016


       Jesus [Ian] - you just shat on these hallowed grounds by bringing up twitter? There's links to the Chicago Manual of Style up there goddamnit!
Custardguts, May 09 2016

       //Chicago Manual of Style// Why does that seem like an oxymoron to me?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2016


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle