Re: French group separators

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Mon Jul 07 2003 - 13:29:25 EDT

  • Next message: John Burger: "Re: French group separators"

    At Mon, 7 Jul 2003 17:12:25 +0100, Michael Everson wrote:
    > At 11:49 -0400 2003-07-07, John Cowan wrote:
    > > It's a typewriter-based convention, and is suitable for monowidth
    > > fonts only.
    > It's a beastly practice held over from the time when it was useful
    > (that is, when typesetters set the type from the typescript), and I
    > wouldn't use it in monowidth typesetting either.
    Nobody is springing to the defense of this so I'll only say that it's a
    time-honored practice and we shouldn't be so quick to disparage it, lest we
    be disparaged several years hence for the things we do :-)

    In the world of plain text, two spaces after a sentence-ending period,
    exclamation mark, question mark, or other mark is actually rather handy to
    distinguish sentence enders from the same marks used in other ways,
    esp. periods in abbreviations. This allows a text editor to have sentence
    oriented commands that work simply and predictably, as opposed to (say)
    "autorecognizing" your language, grammer, and style. Ditto for text
    formatting and typesetting, where a sentence end would have less "glue"
    than an abbreviation and the following word within a sentence. I imagine
    there might be similar considerations in scanning, too, though I can't think
    what at the moment -- but the postal authorities of many nations require two
    (sometimes more) spaces between the town and postal code for scanning

    - Frank

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Jul 07 2003 - 14:09:47 EDT