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On 08/17/2013 12:56 PM, Brian Barker wrote:
At 10:47 17/08/2013 +0200, Andrew Brown wrote:
In the read word punctuation taught us when to take a breath, as with a continuous sentence separated by a comma, and a long full breath after the period, plus a space.

This suggests that the point of the printed word is solely to enable public speaking. Those of us who can read without moving our lips do not need breaths between sentences! I can breathe and read at the same time; can't you? The true purpose of punctuation in written material is to clarify the structure of the material, not to indicate the pauses that might occur if the material were read aloud.

Now even as we type to each other in this email, we are using a sans serif font ...

That's what you think! You sent this message in plain text, so no font was identified. How I read it or anyone else does depends on how we decide or our mail clients choose to display it. I'm doing the same: you don't know how this appears to me as I'm composing it and I don't know how you will see it.

Brian Barker

In Thunderbird's Preferences, you can choose what font the text of your email will be displayed in. By default, it seems it is "Times New Roman", but I now use "DejaVu Serif". I then get to choose what font the email is written in, with the current default as "Times". I just chose "DejaVu Serif" for the font of this text that I have typed here.

So, you can decide which font you wish to display any text that does not have a font identifier built in, and you can define the font of the text you are sending in your email, more than one if you choose.

As for punctuation and word spacing, try reading old Greek text or others of that era like that where they seem to not use spacings and punctuation in their text. We need them whether we read a text out load or silently. The internal punctuation gives you structure and also gives you a sense of "pausing" where the author wants such a thing to emphasize some word or portion of the text.

The punctuation in the sentence change the meaning of the sentence just by changing, adding, removing, key internal punctuation marks. Of course over the 30+ years between high-school and the last college writing course, the standards and rules have changes on what is needed where and how best to use a comma or semicolon. But without these in the text of books that I personally like to read, it would not be as easy to read as it is now.

As for which fonts are best to use where, well whole college courses and majors can be needed to make the "best guess" on the science of what fonts are best for what and which fonts are "more readable" than others. Book Publishers know what it best in the different types of books that publish. One font for text books, another for entertainment reading. The hard cover book fonts can be different than the paper back ones as well. There is a science involved in the choosing of the "proper" fonts. I just decide which looks best for me for ease of reading. I am told Serif fonts work the best for "entertainment" reading, but which serif font is the best, only you can decide which one in your fonts collection works best for you.


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