Language and English

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Mon Jan 7 10:55:59 2002

My mother received all her schooling, including being taught to type, among
other things, in Germany, where Hans is a native. I figured that she could
settle this matter, if anyone could, so, just to satisfy my own curious
interest, while having Sunday dinner with my mother, I asked about the
convention regarding spaces after a period. She informed me that it was the
convention in 1935 Germany, to leave two spaces after a period. This was
probably done for the same reasons as here in the U.S. but I was curious as to
whether it was unique to the U.S. and Britain.

Perhaps you can see the sense in this, but, of course, it's arguable that it
wastes a space.

I believe it's much easier to parse out the sentences, particularly for people
like me, who visually capture more than one sentence at a time when
speed-reading. I think I'd experience a 60-80% reduction in reading speed,
which would still be quite a brisk pace to some folks, if I had to work around
higher density on the page than that to which I've accustomed myself over the
past 40+ years. I learned this when I was in my early teens, as, back then,
the school system wanted people to learn not only to read, but to read quickly
and retain the content of what they'd read. Of course, now that I have to
wear reading glasses when I'm reading, I am somewhat slower anyway, but the
established format is, I'm sure, key to the way I've been reading all these
years. That probably also explains why odd formats bother me so much.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hans Franke" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 9:03 AM
Subject: Re: Language and English

> > > > > > When I was in the 8th grade, one of the courses we were required
> > > > > > to take was in typing. I've never gotten particularly good at
> > > > > > it, but I did learn that a period at the end of a sentence is
> > > > > > followed by two spaces, for example.
> > > > > Thank you very much. So it seams there is a 'school' forcing this in
> > > > > the US .... and I always wondered why some people add two spaces
> > > > > a period.
> > > > I imagine Hans was taught that it's "wrong", since I imagine
> > > > he learned to type in German.
> > > there was only two trules
> > > about spaces (AFAIR): Three (or one, sinplified) at the beginning
> > > of a new paragraph, and one after each punktuation (and none before).
> > > We been told about some odd formats for accounting, but I realy don't
> > > remember.
> > I, too, find it of immense interest. I recall being taught that
> > paragraphs were indented 5 spaces. I also remember that this was not
> > universal, as there was another variation, called "block style" which was
> > not indented at all.
> Jep, same here - we been told that for strict business letters there
> may be no intended first line at all.
> > I have been looking at a number of books, and noticed that some have a
> > single space between sentences, others two spaces. This occurrs in both
> > US and UK editions. I even noticed a German grammar in blackletter that
> > uses the double spaces, although it was US printed. I do notice, though,
> > that the double spacing enhances the readability of the text.
> The world of books (and typesetting) has always been very international,
> and therefore mixed up.
> Gruss
> H.
> --
> VCF Europa 3.0 am 27./28. April 2002 in Muenchen
Received on Mon Jan 07 2002 - 10:55:59 GMT

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