Re: TeX (was: apostrophe etc.)

From: Scott Horne (
Date: Thu Aug 19 1999 - 15:42:09 EDT

Michael Everson wrote:
> Good gods, what a horrible "solution". The _problem_ is that when they
> learned to type people (mostly North Americans) didn't learn the detail
> that there really _aren't_ supposed to be two spaces after a full stop, it
> is only TYPED there with MECHANICAL TYPEWRITERS on PAPER to help someone
> else actually set the page.

I'm well aware of that, as is Donald E Knuth, the designer of TeX.
TeX disregards extra spaces in the input; whether you type one or
thirty-seven spaces after a full stop (or even between words),
TeX will set the text the same.

The usual spacing after a period, comma, or other punctuation mark is
the same as the space between words. If TeX needs to fill out a line
for the purpose of justification, it allows the space after a comma
to grow at a slightly faster rate than inter-word space and the space
after a period, question mark, or exclamation point to grow slightly
faster still. This is quite consistent with traditional typographic
practice. And if you don't like it, you can turn it off
with \frenchspacing.

Scott Horne

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