You write J. J. Steinfeld’s name like this: J. Period. Space. J. Period.
I know this because, two years ago, I set an excerpt of his Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation in metal type and I needed to know.
It was the space that I was concerned about: I could have gone either way, but I deferred to J. J.’s preference and so J. Period. Space. J. Period. it was:
Even now I’m not sure that I took the right path. In The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst writes:
Names such as W. B. Yeats and J. C. L. Prillwitz need hair spaces, thin spaces, or no spaces at all after the intermediary periods. A normal word space follows the last period in the string.
So perhaps I should have mixed J. J.’s preference with some typographic wisdom and used a thin space rather than a full space? So J. J. rather than J. J.
But it is too late now and I must live with my decision.
This Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the aforementioned J. J. Steinfeld will launch his latest book, Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (buy it online) at the Bahá’í Centre, 20 Lapthorne Avenue here in Charlottetown.
Not only is the event a book launch, but it’s also an open mic night, where we members of the general writing public are invited to read 3 to 5 minute pieces of poetry or prose. I believe I might give it a go (readers can sign up at 7:00 p.m.). Perhaps I will see you there?
But there are a couple contexts at least. If you see "J.J." in a footnote or bibliography where every authors' first and middle names are represented by initials, you wouldn't assume friends say the friend's name "jay-jay." Maybe if you wanted to convey that that is the case, you'd want to place the j's closer together. Or anyway how would you represent the nickname?