moderated One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. was RE: Esoteric punctuation question.


JM Casey
 

Hi Brian and All.

Sorry, buti am just getting to this message now, and I think the topic has basicallyb een closed, but I didn’t want to not convey at least some understanding of Brian’s excellent explanation.

I’ve never seen a thing in my life and am a braille user, but I do understand the “unbridgable gulf” mentioned here pretty well anyway, at least in theory. Though I couldn’t really tell you what most specific fonts actually look like in practice, typography is certainly interesting, and I’ve worked with a few different ones in my time for different purposes. This is something a braille reader just has to accept as part of the print experience we will never really and truly have an equivalent for, but, just like cinematography in film, it’s a very interesting “science” that it’s useful to know some things about.

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: August 20, 2019 9:23 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. was RE: Esoteric punctuation question.

 

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 05:51 PM, JM Casey wrote:

But when you read a book in print, you don’t (usually) see two spaces after a period, correct?

That depends, at least from a "how it looks" perspective, on the type used.  It certainly appears that either some use a 2-space convention or the type itself has a somewhat wider space.

When it comes to proportional fonts some "compress" a space far more than others do, but all compress it in comparison to "wide" letters like M and W, for instance.

I wish there were a way to convey this in a truly meaningful way for those that cannot see.   The differences between fonts, in many respects, that are all proportional fonts can be radical.   For those here who may have once been able to see, think about the difference between how a True Type font such as Vivaldi or Palace Script look when compared with Times New Roman.   Even though both can be read with relative ease, when the content is short, try to imagine reading an entire book in one of the first two script fonts as opposed to Times New Roman.  I'd be exhausted by the end of the first page, because letter form matters, and matters a lot, when ease of visual scanning and processing are involved.   There are an awful lot of fonts that were developed to be "visually interesting" for things like posters, invitations, and the like but are not ever intended to be used for article or book length material for publication and reading by the masses.   Any of these being machine read, or converted for Braille displays, are exactly the same in those contexts.   There's a gulf that cannot be fully bridged due to sensory modalities at play and the fact that, in the case of Braille, the whole idea of font as I experience it is absent.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


 

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 05:51 PM, JM Casey wrote:
But when you read a book in print, you don’t (usually) see two spaces after a period, correct?
That depends, at least from a "how it looks" perspective, on the type used.  It certainly appears that either some use a 2-space convention or the type itself has a somewhat wider space.

When it comes to proportional fonts some "compress" a space far more than others do, but all compress it in comparison to "wide" letters like M and W, for instance.

I wish there were a way to convey this in a truly meaningful way for those that cannot see.   The differences between fonts, in many respects, that are all proportional fonts can be radical.   For those here who may have once been able to see, think about the difference between how a True Type font such as Vivaldi or Palace Script look when compared with Times New Roman.   Even though both can be read with relative ease, when the content is short, try to imagine reading an entire book in one of the first two script fonts as opposed to Times New Roman.  I'd be exhausted by the end of the first page, because letter form matters, and matters a lot, when ease of visual scanning and processing are involved.   There are an awful lot of fonts that were developed to be "visually interesting" for things like posters, invitations, and the like but are not ever intended to be used for article or book length material for publication and reading by the masses.   Any of these being machine read, or converted for Braille displays, are exactly the same in those contexts.   There's a gulf that cannot be fully bridged due to sensory modalities at play and the fact that, in the case of Braille, the whole idea of font as I experience it is absent.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


JM Casey
 

Hah..the tone was indeed a little on the strident side. It’s not something I care enough about to get worked up over. I vaguely remember either my father or some grade-school teacher trying to insist on the two spaces. But as I started to read more, I literally was only seeing this regularly from people used to using typewriters, or at least that’s how it seemed.

Actually now that I use braille output more than speech, I find myself surprised at how many people on these lists for instance use the two spaces.

It’s ok of course – just an observation.

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: August 20, 2019 10:34 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. was RE: Esoteric punctuation question.

 

There exists scads of research out there in regard to what makes text more (visually, not machine) readable.   It's pretty well known that serifed fonts are easier for humans to read than ones without serifs.

I thought it was actually kind of amusing to read the linked article passionately screaming that one space was enough and to find myself having a harder time reading it as a result.   Single spaces in proportional fonts are often very narrow, as they generally only need to be when separating words, but that makes them insufficient for separating sentences to my visual taste.

There are certain feuds that will never be settled.  This is one of them.  I'll continue using two spaces after a full stop before commencing my next sentence, thanks.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


Bill Tessore
 

You’re absolutely right David Goldfield. My point was that in literary braille, with the exception of the beginning of a new paragraph  (in paragraph mode versus block Mode), the rules indicate there is only one space following each sentence.

Shalom,

Bill Tessore




On Aug 20, 2019, at 2:40 PM, David Goldfield <david.goldfield@...> wrote:

Hi. I would actually argue that, for Braille users, how many spaces separate one sentence from another does matter since nearly all hardcopy Braille adds just one space separating two sentences. This is what I've been used to even back in the day when I was taught to add two print spaces during my sixth grade typing class when we used a manual typewriter. If I was presented with a book or a document on a Braille display with two spaces following each sentence it would feel very jarring to me and would make the reading experience less than satisfactory.

David Goldfield, Assistive Technology Specialist JAWS Certified: 2019 WWW.David-Goldfield.Com
On 8/20/2019 3:31 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM, Bill Tessore wrote:
Isn’t it interesting to note that for those that read with synthesizers, and/or braille, this is a non-issue?
Indeed.  Hence the reason I made clear that I was referring to human reading via the sensory modality of vision.

Machine reading is an entirely different thing, and since any white space after a period indicates it's a full stop that's all a "reading machine" needs in most cases to know what's what.  When you're reading "by eye" the size of the gap between sentences can be just as important as the presence of the punctuation mark itself.

The sensory modality being used, and how its been trained, is critical.  I have tried to explain to those who have been reading Braille as the only thing they've ever read that picking the skill up in adulthood by someone who's been sighted for most of their life is just not going to happen.   Our tactile modality has not ever been trained for the kind of discrimination necessary for fluent dot identification on a Braille page, and it's hellishly difficult to acquire if one can even acquire it at all.

How our individual sensory palettes are trained from the moment we start using them, and whether we ever had and lost any of them, makes a huge difference in how we actually can and do use them.   My dear friend used to do a sort of "parlor trick" as far as those of us who are sighted were concerned when we were driving her around our small town.  She could (and would) very often tell you what corner you were on when you stopped at a stop light no matter how it was that you came to be at that spot.  She had trained herself to listen to the characteristic sounds of those intersections and the businesses that surrounded them.   It floored those of us who could see, simply because we cannot do that because we never needed to develop the skill - looking around is faster and easier.   Were I to lose my vision tomorrow I doubt that I could ever cultivate that level of skill, reliably, because of the years of careful training (and I don't mean formal training) it takes to form that kind of auditory discrimination skill for that sort of thing.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


JM Casey
 

Interesting. Can’t disagree with a ny of that. J

But when you read a book in print, you don’t (usually) see two spaces after a period, correct? My understanding is that once typography was more-or-less standardised in the early 20th century, that was the norm. Typewriters, of course, are something completely different.

 

BTW, I use a braille display and I can see the “extra” spaces (lol sorry, Brian) after your periods. I also noted all the extra spaces liberally sprinkled throughout that funny article Richard posted…clever.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: August 20, 2019 3:31 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. was RE: Esoteric punctuation question.

 

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM, Bill Tessore wrote:

Isn’t it interesting to note that for those that read with synthesizers, and/or braille, this is a non-issue?

Indeed.  Hence the reason I made clear that I was referring to human reading via the sensory modality of vision.

Machine reading is an entirely different thing, and since any white space after a period indicates it's a full stop that's all a "reading machine" needs in most cases to know what's what.  When you're reading "by eye" the size of the gap between sentences can be just as important as the presence of the punctuation mark itself.

The sensory modality being used, and how its been trained, is critical.  I have tried to explain to those who have been reading Braille as the only thing they've ever read that picking the skill up in adulthood by someone who's been sighted for most of their life is just not going to happen.   Our tactile modality has not ever been trained for the kind of discrimination necessary for fluent dot identification on a Braille page, and it's hellishly difficult to acquire if one can even acquire it at all.

How our individual sensory palettes are trained from the moment we start using them, and whether we ever had and lost any of them, makes a huge difference in how we actually can and do use them.   My dear friend used to do a sort of "parlor trick" as far as those of us who are sighted were concerned when we were driving her around our small town.  She could (and would) very often tell you what corner you were on when you stopped at a stop light no matter how it was that you came to be at that spot.  She had trained herself to listen to the characteristic sounds of those intersections and the businesses that surrounded them.   It floored those of us who could see, simply because we cannot do that because we never needed to develop the skill - looking around is faster and easier.   Were I to lose my vision tomorrow I doubt that I could ever cultivate that level of skill, reliably, because of the years of careful training (and I don't mean formal training) it takes to form that kind of auditory discrimination skill for that sort of thing.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


David Goldfield <david.goldfield@...>
 

Hi. I would actually argue that, for Braille users, how many spaces separate one sentence from another does matter since nearly all hardcopy Braille adds just one space separating two sentences. This is what I've been used to even back in the day when I was taught to add two print spaces during my sixth grade typing class when we used a manual typewriter. If I was presented with a book or a document on a Braille display with two spaces following each sentence it would feel very jarring to me and would make the reading experience less than satisfactory.

David Goldfield, Assistive Technology Specialist JAWS Certified: 2019 WWW.David-Goldfield.Com

On 8/20/2019 3:31 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM, Bill Tessore wrote:
Isn’t it interesting to note that for those that read with synthesizers, and/or braille, this is a non-issue?
Indeed.  Hence the reason I made clear that I was referring to human reading via the sensory modality of vision.

Machine reading is an entirely different thing, and since any white space after a period indicates it's a full stop that's all a "reading machine" needs in most cases to know what's what.  When you're reading "by eye" the size of the gap between sentences can be just as important as the presence of the punctuation mark itself.

The sensory modality being used, and how its been trained, is critical.  I have tried to explain to those who have been reading Braille as the only thing they've ever read that picking the skill up in adulthood by someone who's been sighted for most of their life is just not going to happen.   Our tactile modality has not ever been trained for the kind of discrimination necessary for fluent dot identification on a Braille page, and it's hellishly difficult to acquire if one can even acquire it at all.

How our individual sensory palettes are trained from the moment we start using them, and whether we ever had and lost any of them, makes a huge difference in how we actually can and do use them.   My dear friend used to do a sort of "parlor trick" as far as those of us who are sighted were concerned when we were driving her around our small town.  She could (and would) very often tell you what corner you were on when you stopped at a stop light no matter how it was that you came to be at that spot.  She had trained herself to listen to the characteristic sounds of those intersections and the businesses that surrounded them.   It floored those of us who could see, simply because we cannot do that because we never needed to develop the skill - looking around is faster and easier.   Were I to lose my vision tomorrow I doubt that I could ever cultivate that level of skill, reliably, because of the years of careful training (and I don't mean formal training) it takes to form that kind of auditory discrimination skill for that sort of thing.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


 

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM, Bill Tessore wrote:
Isn’t it interesting to note that for those that read with synthesizers, and/or braille, this is a non-issue?
Indeed.  Hence the reason I made clear that I was referring to human reading via the sensory modality of vision.

Machine reading is an entirely different thing, and since any white space after a period indicates it's a full stop that's all a "reading machine" needs in most cases to know what's what.  When you're reading "by eye" the size of the gap between sentences can be just as important as the presence of the punctuation mark itself.

The sensory modality being used, and how its been trained, is critical.  I have tried to explain to those who have been reading Braille as the only thing they've ever read that picking the skill up in adulthood by someone who's been sighted for most of their life is just not going to happen.   Our tactile modality has not ever been trained for the kind of discrimination necessary for fluent dot identification on a Braille page, and it's hellishly difficult to acquire if one can even acquire it at all.

How our individual sensory palettes are trained from the moment we start using them, and whether we ever had and lost any of them, makes a huge difference in how we actually can and do use them.   My dear friend used to do a sort of "parlor trick" as far as those of us who are sighted were concerned when we were driving her around our small town.  She could (and would) very often tell you what corner you were on when you stopped at a stop light no matter how it was that you came to be at that spot.  She had trained herself to listen to the characteristic sounds of those intersections and the businesses that surrounded them.   It floored those of us who could see, simply because we cannot do that because we never needed to develop the skill - looking around is faster and easier.   Were I to lose my vision tomorrow I doubt that I could ever cultivate that level of skill, reliably, because of the years of careful training (and I don't mean formal training) it takes to form that kind of auditory discrimination skill for that sort of thing.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


Bill Tessore
 

Isn’t it interesting to note that for those that read with synthesizers, and/or braille, this is a non-issue?

Shalom,

Bill Tessore

On Aug 20, 2019, at 7:33 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

There exists scads of research out there in regard to what makes text more (visually, not machine) readable.   It's pretty well known that serifed fonts are easier for humans to read than ones without serifs.

I thought it was actually kind of amusing to read the linked article passionately screaming that one space was enough and to find myself having a harder time reading it as a result.   Single spaces in proportional fonts are often very narrow, as they generally only need to be when separating words, but that makes them insufficient for separating sentences to my visual taste.

There are certain feuds that will never be settled.  This is one of them.  I'll continue using two spaces after a full stop before commencing my next sentence, thanks.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


Robin Frost
 

Hi,
I will too glad someone else thought it besides me. Here’s to two spaces.  Take good care.
Robin
 
 

From: Brian Vogel
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:33 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. was RE: Esoteric punctuation question.
 
There exists scads of research out there in regard to what makes text more (visually, not machine) readable.   It's pretty well known that serifed fonts are easier for humans to read than ones without serifs.

I thought it was actually kind of amusing to read the linked article passionately screaming that one space was enough and to find myself having a harder time reading it as a result.   Single spaces in proportional fonts are often very narrow, as they generally only need to be when separating words, but that makes them insufficient for separating sentences to my visual taste.

There are certain feuds that will never be settled.  This is one of them.  I'll continue using two spaces after a full stop before commencing my next sentence, thanks.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


 

There exists scads of research out there in regard to what makes text more (visually, not machine) readable.   It's pretty well known that serifed fonts are easier for humans to read than ones without serifs.

I thought it was actually kind of amusing to read the linked article passionately screaming that one space was enough and to find myself having a harder time reading it as a result.   Single spaces in proportional fonts are often very narrow, as they generally only need to be when separating words, but that makes them insufficient for separating sentences to my visual taste.

There are certain feuds that will never be settled.  This is one of them.  I'll continue using two spaces after a full stop before commencing my next sentence, thanks.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

         ~ Eric Hoffer


Richard Turner
 

Here is the text of an article that I’d encourage those interested to read to the end.

 

I’ll put the link to this article at the end as well.

 

One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong.

By  Avi Selk

Avi Selk

Reporter

May 4, 2018

 

In the beginning, the rules of the space bar were simple.  Two spaces after each period.  Every time.  Easy.

 

That made sense in the age of the typewriter. Letters of uniform width looked cramped without extra space after the period. Typists learned not to do it.

 

But then, at the end of the 20th century, the typewriter gave way to the word processor, and the computer,  and modern variable-width fonts.  And the world divided.

 

Some insisted on keeping the two-space rule.  They couldn't get used to seeing just one space after a period.  It simply looked wrong.

 

Some said this was blasphemy. The designers of modern fonts had built the perfect amount of spacing, they said. Anything more than a single space between sentences was too much.

 

And so the rules of typography fell into chaos. “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong,” Farhad Manjoo wrote in Slate in 2011.  “You can have my double space when you pry it from my cold, dead hands,” Megan McArdle wrote in the Atlantic the same year.  (And yes, she double-spaced it.)

 

This schism has actually existed throughout most of typed history, the writer and type enthusiast James Felici once observed (in a single-spaced essay).

 

The rules of spacing have been wildly inconsistent going back to the invention of the printing press. The original printing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence used extra long spaces between sentences. John Baskerville's 1763 Bible used a single space. WhoevenknowswhateffectPietroBembowasgoingforhere.Single spaces. Double spaces.  Em spaces.   Trends went back and forth between continents and eras for hundreds of years, Felici wrote.It's not a good look.

 

And that's just English. Somewrittenlanguageshavenospacesatall and o thers re quire a space be tween ev e ry syl la ble.

 

Ob viously, thereneed to be standards. Unless    you're doing avant - garde po e try, or    something , you  can'tjustspacew ords ho w e v   e    r   y      o        u            want.     That would be insanity. Or at least,

obnoxious.

 

Enter three psychology researchers from Skidmore College, who decided it's time for modern science to sort this out once and for all.

 

“Professionals and amateurs in a variety of fields have passionately argued for either one or two spaces following this punctuation mark,” they wrote in a paper published last week in the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

 

They cite dozens of theories and previous research, arguing for one space or two.  A 2005 study that found two spaces reduced lateral interference in the eye and helped reading.  A 2015 study that found the opposite.  A 1998 experiment that suggested it didn't matter.

 

“However,” they wrote, “to date, there has been no direct empirical evidence in support of these claims, nor in favor of the one-space convention.”

 

So the researchers,  Rebecca L. Johnson,  Becky Bui  and Lindsay L. Schmitt,  rounded up 60 students and some eye-tracking equipment,  and set out to heal the divide.

 

First, they put the students in front of computers and dictated a short paragraph, to see how many spaces they naturally used. Turns out, 21 of the 60 were “two-spacers,” and the rest typed with close-spaced sentences that would have horrified the Founding Fathers.

 

The researchers then clamped each student's head into place, and used an Eyelink 1000 to record where they looked as they silently read 20 paragraphs. The paragraphs were written in various styles: one-spaced, two-spaced,  and strange combinations like two spaces after commas,  but only one after periods.  And vice versa, too.

 

And the verdict was: two spaces after the period is better.  It makes reading slightly easier.  Congratulations, Yale University professor Nicholas A. Christakis.  Sorry, Lifehacker.

 

               Hurray! Science vindicates my longstanding practice, learned at age 12, of using TWO SPACES after periods in text. NOT ONE SPACE. Text is easier to read that way. Of course, on twitter, I use one space, given 280 characters. https://t.co/4xI6sVbF88 Will arm-wrestle @Neuro_Skeptic pic.twitter.com/XpEr4KFR4x

 

               — Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) April 28, 2018

Actually, Lifehacker's one-space purist Nick Douglas pointed out some important caveats to the study's conclusion.

 

Most notably, the test subjects read paragraphs in Courier New, a fixed-width font similar to the old typewriters, and rarely used on modern computers.

 

Johnson, one of the authors, told Douglas that the fixed-width font was standard for eye-tracking tests, and the benefits of two-spacing should carry over to any modern font.

 

Douglas found more solace in the fact that the benefits of two-spacing, as described in the study, appear to be very minor.

 

Reading speed only improved marginally, the paper found, and only for the 21 “two-spacers,” who naturally typed with two spaces between sentences.  The majority of one-spacers, on the other hand, read at pretty much the same speed either way.  And reading comprehension was unaffected for everyone, regardless of how many spaces followed a period.

 

The major reason to use two spaces, the researchers wrote, was to make the reading process smoother, not faster.  Everyone tended to spend fewer milliseconds staring at periods when a little extra blank space followed it.

 

(Putting two spaces after a comma,  if you're wondering,  slowed down reading speed,  so don't do that.)

 

The study's authors concluded that two-spacers in the digital age actually have science on their side, and more research should be done to “investigate why reading is facilitated when periods are followed by two spaces.”

 

But no sooner did the paper publish than the researchers discovered that science doesn't necessarily govern matters of the space bar.

 

Johnson told Lifehacker that she and her co-authors submitted the paper with two spaces after each period — as was proper. And the journal deleted all the extra spaces anyway.

 

Note: An earlier version of this story published incorrectly because, seriously, putting two spaces in the headline broke the web code.

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/05/04/one-space-between-each-sentence-they-said-science-just-proved-them-wrong-2/

 

 

Richard

 

🖖 Live long and prosper