I’ve been reading Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. It has caused me to revisit some issues.
Here’s one: In samples in MSCD, the introductory clause, the recitals, the lead-in, the concluding clause, and autonomous definitions all use first-line indenting. I also use space between those paragraphs. Here’s what Typography for Lawyers has to say:
A first-line indent is the most common way to signal the start of a new paragraph. The other common way is with space between paragraphs.
First-line indents and space between paragraphs have the same relationship as belts and suspenders. You only need one to get the job done. Using both is a mistake. If you use a first-line indent on a paragraph don’t use space between. And vice versa.
That suggests that I should get rid of those first-line indents. But an argument for keeping them is that all other paragraphs, namely those with enumeration, need first-line indenting—they’d look very odd without it. so I’m inclined to keep first-line indenting for unenumerated paragraphs, just for the sake of consistency.
What say you?