One Space or Two?

I have always placed one space between sentences in the same paragraph. Until I began editing submissions for Neatorama (mainly to correct line breaks for html formatting), I didn't realize so many people placed two (or more) spaces after a period. I also noticed my children used two spaces between sentences in their school work. They said their teachers told them to. How did that habit originate? And who makes the rules for such things?
Typographers, that's who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences. That convention was not arrived at casually. James Felici, author of the The Complete Manual of Typography, points out that the early history of type is one of inconsistent spacing. Hundreds of years ago some typesetters would end sentences with a double space, others would use a single space, and a few renegades would use three or four spaces. Inconsistency reigned in all facets of written communication; there were few conventions regarding spelling, punctuation, character design, and ways to add emphasis to type. But as typesetting became more widespread, its practitioners began to adopt best practices. Felici writes that typesetters in Europe began to settle on a single space around the early 20th century. America followed soon after.

Slate looks at the "type crime" of double spacing. Which convention do you follow when typing? Link -via Buzzfeed

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@VM,

I do the same thing! I once complained aloud to my coworkers about the double space and they refused to change, so I just do the find and replace. It's easier than trying to convince them the double space is unnecessary on a computer.
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Simple answer. One for screen, two for print.

For e-mail, websites, and any communication which is viewed on a screen, one space is best. The screen usually creates enough space with one, due to the use of pixels. Also there are technical reasons with html that make one space better.

If your writing is going to be viewed in print, such as magazines or brochures, two spaces is better. One space does not provide enough visual space on a printed page, especially with small type. Letters are typically spaced closer together on a printed page (the higher resolution allows more accurate spacing), so the need for a visual break between sentences is more important.
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I'm an English teacher. I frequently ask my students to double-space their work, by which I mean for them to change the line spacing setting to double (so that there is more room for me to write comments above and below each line if necessary). Although I explain what this is and often demonstrate how to do it, I have at times instead ended up with work containing these odd double spaces after a full stop. I'd wondered if was just because I wasn't explaining myself clearly enough - it is interesting to now learn that there's a whole wealth of misinformation on this topic out there which may be confusing them.
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So, when computers automatically add an indent for you, you have to do it again at the start of a paragraph because you were told to hit that key when you were growing up, when there was no auto-indent function?
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