Typing Two Spaces After a Period? You're WRONG!

'Fess up, Neatoramanauts. Who amongst you type two spaces after a period?

Well, according to Farhad Manjoo of Slate, you're wrong. Dead wrong:

What galls me about two-spacers isn't just their numbers. It's their certainty that they're right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the "correct" number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space "rule." Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. "Who says two spaces is wrong?" they wanted to know.

Typographers, that's who: Link


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I had a post about this yesterday.


There is nothing arbitrary about this rule. It is a typographic standard. Microsoft Word defaults to eliminate the second space.

If you don't mind driving a purple car or having your text look unprofessional, feel free to flaunt your ignorance for all to see.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Don't a huge number of businesses/corporations have house-style books explicitly to cover the vagaries of what passes for 'rules' in the world of 'copy'?

Oh and wouldn't it be copywriters that would decide what is and isn't correct for 'copy' rather than typesetters or does the typesetter job cover more areas than I think?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It's kind of unfair to say we're wrong, per se. At worst we may be out of date. Unfortunately, the habit is deeply ingrained. We were taught in school -- and received penalties on our grades if we forgot -- that 2 spaces was absolutely required after a period. The fact that style guides have been updated since that time doesn't really justify the whole "you people are idiots" mentality that you militant one-spacers exhibit.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Typing Two Spaces After a Period? You're WRONG!"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More