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

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 06:19:36 EST

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    On 01/04/2004 01:52, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    >From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    >>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.
    >Are there such semantics for common people names and first names and titles?
    >A bas les privilèges! coupons la tête à ces idées préconçues!
    >Kings and other nobility don't need special treatments, because authors will
    >argue that they insist their full name not being splitted or broken across
    >lines. Same thing for trademarks and company names like "Vivendi Universal", or
    >why not on country names like "Sri Lanka", which are considered unbreakable as
    >each part of the compound word have equal importance...
    >Here what I mean is that if one wants to really avoid line breaks or extra word
    >spacing, this is part of a style decision, but not part of the plain-text
    >itself. If you mean that we need a "SPACE LETTER" to avoid this extra inter-word
    >spacing or word breaking or line breaks, may be this could simply be added with
    >a space having a "Lo" general category (and that may be useful as thre base for
    >isolated diacritics that may appear in the middle of words, for example a
    >apostrophe diacritic on top of this space letter).
    >I would not militate for describing a specific handling of nobility names in
    Well, Philippe, the same might apply equally for plain M.<fixed width
    space>Verdy, so it is not an aristocratic privilege. But (and this is in
    answer to Séamas as well) this wasn't originally my suggestion, it was
    Ernest's, who wrote:

    >The main usage is with compound words such as "ice cream" or
    >"Louis XIV" or commercial phrases such as "Camry SE" where for
    >esthetic reasons an author would prefer that the space not expand
    >upon justification, so as to emphasize the compound nature of the

    I simply changed Louis XIV to Louis XVI to bring in the connotations of
    chopping off heads. I disagree with Ernest about ice cream. But maybe no
    typographers actually want to do this. I did suggest that fixed width
    spaces might look better in Bible book names and some other places, but
    I am not a typographer and so don't claim to know exactly how things
    should be set.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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