In the last year, there has been a trend to forego the space between numbers and units
in product datasheets and in press releases. Not only does that practice violate a centuries-old
standard, but it creates an opportunity for misinterpretation. I actually asked a couple company
communications people why they are doing that and they say it is to prevent units and numbers from being
separated as a line wraps on the screen. I mentioned that the non-breaking space symbol (HTML   or
), aka hard space or fixed space, can be inserted in place of a standard space symbol (ASCII 20H).
All word processors since about 1980 have had the ability to insert a non-breaking space. So why not do
that instead of eliminating the space, I asked?
Their editors did not want to have to go to the trouble of using an extra keystroke
to invoke the non-breaking space. I kid you not. Others are now adopting the [non]standard because some
are doing it. This is another case of [non]professional laziness as far as I am concerned.
I publish press releases for those companies, I always insert the non-breaking spaces myself when
possible. Any technical paper or book in the contrariwise publishing community will certainly include a
space. I think what they are doing to destroy the standard is atrocious. I suppose they could make the
"green" argument that eliminating space saves a few
of power by reducing the number of bits that have to be transmitted over the
Internet; in fact, now that I've proposed it, don't be surprised to see that being used in stock market
quarterly reports to investors.