How Many Spaces After a Period?

For this Twitter Treasure Thursday, I cheated–a little. I didn’t find this article on Twitter. I actually went on the hunt for it after I found this picture on Facebook:

DoubleSpacePersonally, I was always taught to use one space after a period, not two. But I know others were taught to use two. In fact, my old college roommate used to go on and on about how much it annoyed her when people used one space, not two…I told her it annoyed me when people used two, not one (follow? 😉 ).

At last, I decided to settle our debate and figure out who’s right: Team One? Or Team Two? Brian A. Klems, online editor for Writer’s Digest had the answer:

The “two spaces after period” rule was established during the days of typesetters, when additional space was needed to show the difference between the spacing between words (which was smaller) and the spacing between sentences (which was larger).

…The point is, it’s not only widely accepted, it’s expected that you use only one space after a period. Sorry two-spaces, it’s time to make the switch.

So…I win, College Roommate.

Kidding!

To read the entire article, click here!

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Photo Credit: 1 , 2

10 thoughts on “How Many Spaces After a Period?

  1. I’m old. I was taught two spaces, because I learned touch typing on a manual typewriter. AP editors have beaten me into one-space submission. It has taken time, effort and a great deal of retraining, but this old dog now has a new trick. I almost never double-space anymore. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to make the switch from two to one. It wasn’t easy, but it works just fine and saves space (no pun intended). Believe it or not, there are still publishers out there who want two spaces. It doesn’t seem to be the norm though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was always taught to use two spaces, and still do. I just can not get on with such a small space between the full-stop and the next word. It just does not look correct to me. However, if I had to change to using just one space, because otherwise nobody would read anything I wrote, I’d change to using one space straight away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think two-spaces would be a deal breaker, haha. However, if one space is considered the standard by the majority of editors, agents, and publishers, then I’d try and break the habit. In my opinion, you want to make a strong first impression, and part of that is showing you understand trends and basic expectations.

      There is a tip at the bottom of the article for those who can’t break the habit. Maybe you could try it out?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on electricscribbles and commented:
    My entire life is a sham! I’ve been putting two spaces after a period my entire life. I don’t know if I can stop… Hell, I even did it in this little blog post 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s the thing. It looks to me like whoever made that picture put more than two spaces after that period. In other words, they cheated to make it look ridiculous. Modern proportional fonts are supposed to put enough space after the period to make it readable (ie, more than between words), but they don’t always do a very good job of it. I swear it doesn’t happen at all in some on-screen contexts. So, if it looks okay with one, I’ll use one. But if it doesn’t, I’ll use two. It’s narrow-minded one-size-fits-all thinking that drives me up the wall!

    Like

  6. It depends – for example, if you are writing a legal brief, you better use two. Judge’s have old eyes. In fact, in many professional fields the standard is two. It is the publishing field that has gone to one, but the professional world in general still uses two. Thus, the continued confusion.

    Liked by 1 person

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