[texhax] Adjusting parentheses for intervals and functions

Jim Hefferon ftpmaint at alan.smcvt.edu
Tue Aug 17 22:27:40 CEST 2004


I'm not a member of this list but someone forwarded the cited note to me, 
so I hope folks don't mind a comment and I apologize if I miss any replies.

  Plamen Tanovski:
    The Question is: should the size of the
    parentheses/brackets/braces be adjusted in case of intervals or
    functions. *Regardless* inline or display.

    AFAIR in Jim Hefferons algebra book, the size of the interval
    parentheses is *not* adjusted.  One reason, may be, is not to confuse
    the interval parenteses with the "normal" multiply parenthes. Who
    knows. Math typography is a (undocumented) mystery.

I do it just as you've said, to prevent confusion (although I can't
remember using it in my LA).  I'd think that the interval from 2/3 to 
7 shown as: 

  |   2
  |   -
  |   3  .. 7 )

would be bad, and a matching large one would also be bad.  To my mind, 
the interval is set in regular type (even in display), just as sometimes 
I might have "where $x>p$" at the end of a display line.

But I'm no authority.  And my edition of Swanson's _Mathematics Into Type_
doesn't seem to say.  In that case, I usually look at a couple of books 
whose typography looks good to me and try to mimic what I see there.  Did 
you look through a half-dozen reputable books (not mine!)?  The AMS
materials seem to me to ba authoritative, and Springer, Elsevier, etc.

Jim Hefferon

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