[texhax] Differentiating sentences in a paragraph

Gordon Haverland ghaverla at materialisations.com
Thu Jan 17 01:52:31 CET 2013

Someone asked me today "what the rule is about trailing spaces 
after a sentence ending period".  In formatted text, I just 
assumed the space should be bigger.  In (LaTeX or other) source,
it can be entirely different.

My original assumption was M$ had made some arbitrary decision, 
and everybody is following the M$ wag.  Wikipedia had an 
interesting article on this, and it seems M$ isn't to blame for 
this.  But in the article, is a text fragment like:

  ... better than I.  P. Jones has said that ...

And following the 1 space rule, that fragment is ambiguous.

In terms of source documents, a long time ago someone had 
recommended that all sentences end in a newline, and that
lines be limited to something in the 60-76 character range.

  The first sentence.
  A really, really, ....
  really long second sentence.

If one forces themselves to do that (I never looked to see if 
anything like tidy exists for LaTeX source), it isn't hard to find 
end of sentence in LaTeX source.

Sure, in a UTF-8 world, there could be a special end-of-sentence 
chracter and a special end-of-paragraph character.  Heck, there 
probably is.  But is 2 spaces after a sentence ending period a 
problem to remove (often contrived) ambiguities?



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