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In this thread, and as Miss Keating has corrected some reference of actual printing of the hard copy type, we are forgetting punctuation and a language layout in how it was and is handwritten, how it has been adapted for typesetting / letterpress printing, and hey presto how we are all communicating to each other right now, digitally.

Everyone is talking about and applying laws that are about sensible grammar, correctly and incorrectly, and which to a degree have to be applied to the digital word. But raw computer code gives no hoot for spacing, it is actually a hindrance and adds drag to the speed of processing. Spacing, punctuation etc. are for the human eye, as someone has posted, in creating fluid reading and interpretation, generally called the white space of a document. Today many programmers, and I on a very small scale, as I am not an involved programmer, can introduce conditions in code to strip or add spaces, which is a piece of code by the way, computers do not know what is a white space or blank, it's treated as a character.

So we need to get around what we are referring to when it comes to digital text or the written / printed word.

Andrew Brown

On 15/08/2013 06:25 PM, Miss Keating wrote:
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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