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As a follow-up to our earlier discussion of one versus two spaces
following a full point/full stop/period, I offer the following passage
from /About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography/ by David Jury
(typos mine):

[begin quotation, page 92]
<bold>Space between words</bold>
The sole reason for spaces between words is to help the reader to
recognise individual word shapes. The space should be the minimum to
fulfil this task, commonly stated as the width of an

Close, consistent word spacing will make it easier for the eye to
smoothly skip along a line of text with minimum pauses. Visually, a
page of text should appear as an orderly series of thin, horizontal,
evenly textured lines, separated by channels of clear space. If the
setting is loose, there is a tendency for the texture of these lines
to appear uneven, fractured, and, in the worst cases, broken.
Persistent use of over-large word spaces (particularly if these become
wider than the interline spaces) can align with spaces in other lines
to create white, vertical 'rivers' through the text. Comprehension
will certainly be impaired if the type cannot keep the reader's eye on
the line, and a tightly spaced line will greatly help. There should be
a sharp contrast between the line of text and the interline spaces,
allowing each to provide strength and support to the other.

Similarly, space before and after uppercase characters can be reduced,
and, if required, the same applies to parentheses and brackets. The
shape of some lowercase characters, such as the v, w and y, also offer
the opportunity to reduce word spacing where they begin or end a word.
The size of the x-height also influences the amount of word space
required. The larger the x-height the larger the counters. This means
that the spaces separating words also need to be larger to ensure the
word shapes are clearly defined.

Every effort needs to be made to maintain consistency, especially in
demanding circumstances; for example, where punctuation occurs, or
where a roman text includes italics or involves a large number of
people's names with initials or clusters of numerals; all of these
need to be dealt with in such a way that they blend, inconspicuously,
into the page of text.

Word spaces, preceding or following punctuation, should be optically
adjusted to appear to be of the same value as a standard word space.

If a standard word space is inserted after a full point or a comma
then, optically, this produces a space up to 50% wider than that of
other word spaces within a line of type. This is because these
punctuation marks carry space <italic>above</italic> them, which, when
added to the adjacent standard word spaces, combines to create a
visually larger space. Some argue that the 'additional' space after a
comma and full point serves as a 'pause signal' for the reader. But
this is unnecessary (and visually disruptive) since the pause signal
is provided by the punctuation mark itself.

The word space should be reduced to take account of the space above
the comma or full point. The aim must be to provide an overall space
which is the optical equivalent of a standard word space. Spaces
between words, regardless of punctuation, should maintain an even
<italic>optical</italic> value equivalent to that of a standard word

Similarly, quote marks (turned comma and apostrophe, singly or paired)
carry space <italic>beneath</italic> them. Consequently, spaces before
the turned comma and after the apostrophe should be reduced to the
optical equivalent of a standard word space. Single rather than double
quotes will make it easier to maintain constant optical word spaces.

The colon and semi-colon, and also parenthesis will benefit from a
reduction in the word spaces immediately adjacent to them. Question
and exclamation marks, generally, do not require an adjustment to the
following word space.
[end quotation]

Jury's book should fascinate anyone interested in typography.

T. R. Valentine
A rich heart may be under a poor coat.

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