Typographic Jihad: The parenthesis ligature


I don’t understand why there isn’t more space between “(” and “)” in proportional fonts.

I find it very annoying (that the arc of the parenthesis is so close to the preceding or following character).

Wouldn’t it be better ( and you sometimes see this in my posts ), visually, if we put a space before the hook?

Yes I realize that some key keyboarding tropes would have to be re-learnt ( put two spaces after a full-stop and before or after a parenthetical token, as appropriate ), and that word-wrap algorithms would have to be taught some additional heuristics, but I find it ever-so much nicer to read.

In the monospace world, i.e. when you’re writing code in a text editor, it’s much more pleasing to follow this rule ( propz to Patrick D. for pointing this one out to me ).


for (int i=0;i<=MAX;i++)


for ( int i=0;i<=MAX;i++ )

Even Better

for ( int i=0; i<=MAX; i++ )

Additional spaces around the assignment operators, I can see that, but the additional spacing widens the measure of this for-loop construct and is much more pleasing to the eye, IMNSHO.

Now, you might be saying that “enter extra space” makes sense in a text editor, but it’s a real pain to do in my WYSIWYG word-processor ( Word, OpenOffice, etc.). I have to agree with you there, but that would seem to me that we should solve the problem by creating a parenthesis ligature. In addition to all the glyphs you know and love as part of a font ( A, “, Z, %, etc. ) there should be an “Additionally spaced parenthesis”.