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I wouldn't have thought to introduce the topic of letterpress printing here, but since James Knott has, replete with monstrous errors, correction is in order.

No letterpress compositor would employ an en quad as an interword space, except possibly when justifying.

A standard job case contains, along with the various quads, typemetal spaces in 3 sizes: 3-to-the-em, 4-to-the-em, and 5-to-the-em. There are also "thin" spaces, not proportional to the font size: "brass" at 1 point, "copper" at 1/2 point.

These spacings are often written as 3/em, &c., but are pronounced as fully written out, to avoid confusion with the 3em and suchlike quads.

A 3-to-the-emis the absolute standard interword space, which is why they are located in the large and central compartment as shown here: <>. (You have to scroll down a bit to see the clear diagram provided.)

As to intersentence spacing, the battle rages on, as we have seen in this forum. Personally, I use an em quad with handset type. More arcana can be found at: <>.


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