Friday, May 21, 2010

Proper Punctuation

Looking at the screencap from the embedded YouTube video in the previous post, I noticed something that has always bothered me. Since several of my previous jobs were in publishing, I'm a real stickler for typography rules. In fact, for the longest time my biggest pet peeve was people putting two spaces after a period. It's fine when they're using a typewriter or mono-spaced font (Courier) but you should only use one space for proportional-spaced fonts. Recently that has been overtaken by my disgust for the CCP, but just barely.

If you look at the screencap, the pink/yellow caption says: Wonder girls舞蹈歌曲表演~Nobody. I know that there are typically no spaces between characters or after punctuation such as a comma (,) or a period (。) in Chinese; here it appears that the font itself adds some space after the punctuation character. This probably explains why I see stuff like "blah blah blah,blah blah,blah blah blah.furthermore,blah blah blah." all the time when Chinese people write in English. In the caption, they know enough to put a space between "Wonder" and "girl" but where's the space before "舞"? Even worse (Leon!), they didn't capitalize "girl" even though it's a proper noun. I sometimes don't capitalize on IM chats since it's supposed to be a conversation but for text people are supposed to read, you should try to follow legibility rules. No capitalization and no space after punctuation makes it really hard to read.

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