OT: spaces WAS: Re: [Tutor] about regular expression

Alan Trautman ATrautman@perryjudds.com
Tue Apr 1 09:57:02 2003

At Thu, 27 Mar 2003 04:12:58 -0600 Jerry Jorgenson wrote:
>Strictly speaking, it depends on the typeface you use. The "two spaces"
>were evented because a typewriter has a fixed font and the letters don't
>have the same space between them, instead each letter takes up the same
>amount of space (an "i" takes the same space as an "m"), so the extra
>space was required.

I looked in some old books, that are pre D.T.P., i.e. made
with traditional lead types. The ones from the 1940's or
1950's are all with the same space between senteces as
between words. 

The 45's (post WWII when higher speed film became common) through 60's (70's
if you worked at a dinosaur shop) books were probably made using a negative
film to positive film transfer technique where a single lead screw
controlled the x-axis motion. The amount of rotation was controlled by the
key press. The film and silver were very expensive so the amount of spaces
before a paragraph were reduced and I believe that would account for the
single spaces in books meant for mass manufacture. Large scale romance
novels (I assume other low cost paper backs) still have special software for
realigning text to get more word per page as long as it reduces page count
and give good chapter breaks. This can reduce the printing costs amazingly.


The ones I found that were older than that
(1903 and 1929) had roughly twice the distance between
sentences as between words. That can hardly be attributed
to typewriters.

Magnus Lycka, Thinkware AB
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