I’m really torn on that one. It is easier to see (i.e. the physics of vision) at the end. But personally I find that a little counter-intuitive because by the time you get to the second eighth note of the tied pair, the note is already over, because it was supposed to be short.
I guess I go for the staccato at the end mainly because it is easier to see – and it does make the player think. As I said above, if it is crossing the bar, then I am more likely to start the new bar with an eighth rest. But if it is a long run of offbeat quarters, then there is a good argument for showing them all the same (i.e. all as staccato quarters or as a staccato pair of tied eighths.
Sorry that I’m taking a cop-out position. It really doesn’t come up very often in the stuff I write. I guess I just look at t, at if it looks really goofy, I try it the other way.
I’ll just say that in jazz charts, this is an area that is confusing to musicians, especially those who are not very experienced. That is to say, note lengths are very important in jazz, and people are easily confused about the arranger’s intention. For example, I played a chart the other day with a series of quarter notes that I am certain was intended to be long-short-long-short. The arranger notated those as accent-marcato-accent-marcato and most of the band played them all short. It would have been much more obvious to write it as tenuto-staccao-tenuto-staccato. That would not indicate a hard attack, but it would get the lengths right and halfway experienced players would know how hard to attack. There is a psychology to making these charts play right. It is not a perfect science.