Talk:1285: Third Way

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 16:16, 1 November 2013 by (talk) (added my handwriting lesson experience and a Fourth Way)
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ONE SPACE AFTER A PERIOD. Davidy²²[talk] 04:38, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Writing plaintext, I always do two spaces after a sentence ending period. This is probably because I did in fact start typing on a real typewriter. In an environment where automatic formatting will take place, like a web page or wiki text, I use the newline. I have had people in this wiki collapse my multiple line forms to one of the others. (I was disappointed.) --Divad27182 (talk) 04:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I prefer double spacing, but I used single spacing in writing the explanation, just to make people happy. Perhaps I should have used new lines. Concomitant (talk) 05:10, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The 'third way' is a little underappreciated here: it divides the text into self contained logical units, and makes text processing tools (grep, diff etc.) much more usable. Proper text rendering engines (TeX, HTML, etc.) already make this assumption and group sentences accordingly. If only I realized this earlier, it would have made my thesis revisions much more easier. In fact, up to this moment, I thought I was that lone guy in the comic. EDIT: this comment in xkcd forums makes my point clear: -- 05:42, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

As a programmer, I find nothing weird in adapting your style to language. Writing two spaces in HTML or TeX is useless, as they won't render as two spaces anyway. (While using for this purpose nonbreakable spaces, which would render, is a crime.) -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
It would also render incorrectly if the period was close to the end of a line. If the markup is [last word of sentence][period][nbsp][space][next sentence], the last word of the first sentence could end up on the next line unnecessarily. But if it's [last word of sentence][period][space][nbsp][next sentence], the next line of text would start with a space, which is much worse.--Rael (talk) 15:16, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I always just find and replace double space with single space. If formatting suffers, someone did a bad job. 06:33, 1 November 2013 (UTC) Synthetica

So, why did double spacing after a period ever exist? It doesn't seem necessary. PheagleAdler (talk) 07:31, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

even though i learned typing on a typewriter, to this day i had never heard of the double space thing. maybe it's a US only thing, like the stupid french with spaces BEFORE punctuation marks. Peter (talk) 07:54, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

As a german typographer I have to say I’m shocked! Two spaces per period? A space before punctuation?! My scientific opinion: you all are completely crazy ;-) (Just kidding, but seriously, two spaces? In Germany, the first possibility to do that safely is your last will …) Quoti (talk) 10:34, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The doubled spaces appear in my browser's tooltips. (Maybe someone should add some non breaking spaces to the quotation of the tooltip text?) -- 10:45, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

As a(n automatic) two-spacer person (just you watch, I'll use 'em here, despite it obviously not being rendered), it's just what I learnt, back in the '70s, here in the UK. I've no idea why I learnt it. However, it may stem from the same root as the 'rule' in handwriting (not biros, but nibbed pens dipped in ink... wow, I feel old, but it was at primary school) that we use a gap as big as our our (very little) little-fingers to separate sentences. I imagine differentiating full-stops (US: periods) from commas in the messy medium of ink might be a valuable visual indicator as to what a given smudge might actually be. So, anyway, double-spacing. On the other hand I should report that, "I've dropped the habit it of appropriate punctuation prior to quotes," I say, "despite being the way I learnt it." And instead I will drop "<- Commas from that sort of position," you see, "even through I'll keep the ones that are semantic pauses." You see how my standards are slipping? Anyway, good comic. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled programme. 14:44, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm in the same boat this this bloke. I don't get the typewriter tie in. I seem to recall being taught to use a finger gage correct gap of whitespace to leave between the end of one sentence and the beginning of the next. This was in an American small town southern school in the early 1980s. I assume it was for readability. 16:16, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The "third way" is used for articles on the BBC News website :-) -- 14:52, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Actually, they put each sentence into a paragraph of its own, which is yet different. (In HTML: <p>... .</p> vs. ... .<br />) --Das-g (talk) 16:07, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
That's what I came here to say, that the Third Way is common-place on the web today, it is the tabloid style. This headline article off the BBC right now only has full-stops (periods in en-US) before paragraph breaks, apart from quotations (ie what the BBC did not write). 16:11, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
There's a FOURTH way! I receive a "Weekly Update from Senator Tim Scott" HTML formatted email about once a week (unsurprisingly) which, in lieu of spaces between words, uses a carriage return and a linefeed. This alleviates the question of how many spaces between sentences completely! It also renders as oneverylongword in my email client. Ie:
Thankyouforsubscribingtomye-newsletter. 16:16, 1 November 2013 (UTC)