[Tex/LaTex] Avoiding placing `,\,` everywhere in mathmode


Whenever I write ", " (with a space after the comma) in mathmode, I really want a space there. usually, this is either something like

the points, $a, b$, and $c$….

or in an explicit vector:

Let the vector $x=(x_1, x_2, x_3)$ be…

Since TeX removes this space, my text is often riddled with explicit short spaces: $x_1,\,x_2,\,x_3)$.

Is there a way to tell TeX that this is not desirable or to hack TeX into submission?

Best Answer

This is kind of a non-answer, but here's what I'd do. For vectors, I'd always just use

Let the vector $x=(x_1,x_2,x_3)$ be ...

In math mode, TeX inserts a thin space after the , (\thinmuskip, as Lev points out in his answer), and I find that exactly right. In your other example, I'd write

the points $a$, $b$, and~$c$ ...

(with or without the , after $b$), and this is also what Knuth recommends in the TeXbook. (Note the tie after and!) This yields correct spacing; moreover, it allows a linebreak after $a$.