Word Spacing

Kasisopa, Benjawan. "Reading without spaces between words: Eye movements in Reading Thai".

“Participants of all ages read spaced text sentences faster than unspaced sentences ...”

Saenge, Paul. "Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading".

  • Many scripts (including Latin) were written without spaces; reading used to be oral, and rely on long-term memory (readers would memorize the texts)

  • Spaces help readers read by sight, recognizing words as units (it takes less cognitive resources to read spaced texts)

  • Spaces help make reading easier and faster!

“Modern reading is a silent, solitary, and rapid activity. Ancient reading was usually oral, either aloud, in groups, or individually, in a muffled voice.” and “Long-term memory of texts frequently read aloud also compensated for the inherent graphic and grammatical ambiguities of the languages of late antiquity.”

“The notion that the greater portion of the population should be autonomous and self-motivated readers was entirely foreign to the elitist literate mentality of the ancient world.”

“There is a correlation between a propensity to read orally in both past and contemporary cultures and the threshold in the duration of cognitive activity needed to achieve lexical access in that culture's script.”

“Without spaces to use for guideposts, the ancient reader needed more than twice the normal quantity of fixations and saccades per line of printed text.” (A “saccade” is the physical jump the eye makes while reading).