Re: Fixed Width Spaces (was: Printing and Displaying DependentVowels)

From: fantasai (
Date: Wed Mar 31 2004 - 20:41:02 EST

  • Next message: Mark E. Shoulson: "Re: What is the principle?"

    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > On 31/03/2004 14:25, wrote:
    >> Peter Kirk scripsit:
    >>> But, as Ken has just clarified, with NBSP Louis' neck may be
    >>> stretched rather uncomfortably, if not cut completely. Here is what I
    >>> don't want to see (fixed width font required):
    >>> Louis XVI was
    >>> guillotined in
    >>> 1793.
    >> This, however, is a matter of presentation rather than semantics, and
    >> as such fitly belongs in the realm of presentational markup. In HTML,
    >> one might specify <tt>&nbsp;</tt> to generate a fixed-width space.
    > I disagree. Surely there is something SEMANTICALLY different about the
    > space in "Louis XVI". One semantic difference is that it is
    > non-breaking. But another one is that these words should not be split
    > apart. An additional semantic distinction might be that they should be
    > treated as one word for the purposes of word breaking algorithms.

    non-breaking and non-stretching are presentational properties, not
    semantic ones. They don't change the meaning of the space: it's still
    just a space, not a hyphen or the letter "g". They don't affect
    non-visual media; we don't break lines in spoken speech. "Louis XVI"
    is semantically different from "Louis' head" because the former is a
    bare noun whereas the latter is a noun phrase, but as far as the reader
    is concerned, they're both separated with "a space". Whether the space
    breaks or not or stretches or not has no effect on either the meaning
    or correctness of the text. It only affects its (visual) aesthetic



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