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.
When 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.