On Wednesday, 4 April 2018 19:12:23 BST Wol's lists wrote:
> On 02/04/18 21:50, Philip Webb wrote:
> > 180402 Dale wrote:
> >> After each period at the end of a sentence, I put in two spaces, not one.
> >> Something I was taught years ago somewhere and still do.
> >> I only put one after a comma tho.
> > 
> > That is correct professional secretarial style, which I always follow too.
> I was taught to always start every paragraph with an indent. Which I
> believe is against "professional secretarial style".

There seem to be two alternative styles: either indent the start of a 
paragraph, or leave a blank line before it. I learned at an early age that an 
indent marked a new para (not some empty space that usually just happened to 
be left at the end of the line before) - I remember arguing that point at 
primary school, some time in 1952 - 1954.

On the other hand, some "designer" has decided since then that spacing paras 
out presents a cleaner appearance to the page, regardless of legibility. And 
of course, appearances count more than substance. Bad ideas are just as 
infectious as good ones.

> Different horses, different courses. I believe the indent was dropped to
> save a keystroke, so why the double-space is there (requiring an extra
> keystroke) I don't know.

That's been explained already, as dating from the days of mechanical, 
monospaced typewriters. Well, it seems plausible to me anyway.

> And why use secretarial style when you're typesetting? One is for
> letters, the other is typically for books ... that's the trouble with
> all this Artificial Stupidity - it blindly enforces rules that are
> irrelevant (or even wrong!!!) for the current scenario.

Indeed, and that's more-or-less how I see the usual American insistence on a 
comma before the "and" before the last item in a list, even though it gets in 
the way and introduces ambiguity - the infamous Oxford comma.

But that's a whole new can of worms.


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