… two spaces after a period?
This whole issue has typically gone away from my mind by every now and again someone makes it return. This time around, it was Cyndie Jacobs who somehow dug up this story.
Of course, readers of this blog who scrutinize my every keystroke knows that this is fake news. I’m still here typing.
Here’s a nice descriptor of the situation and, despite some knowledge, it does predate typewriters. It’s not just for periods (full stops) but two spaces were required after a question mark and exclamation mark at the end of sentences. Plus, if you were using a colon in your typing, it was expected there are well.
I can remember us questioning it at the time and not getting a really good answer other than “it’s a typing error if you don’t use a double space”. So, we did it because to not do so lowered your words per minute score. It seemed like a small price to pay.
There have been all kinds of attempts at explaining why – I’m sure that you’ve heard them – typewriters used mono-spaced fonts and today’s computers typically use proportional fonts. It’s an interesting comparison but doesn’t really explain a significant really why.
After all, you can still use a mono-spaced font if you want.
But just the difference in font really doesn’t give a satisfactory reason. I maintain that it’s an excuse given by people who didn’t take formal keyboard training to rationalize their shortcoming! The double space even has a purpose on today’s smartphone where it generates a period and a space automatically so that you can move to the next sentence.
I’ve always double-spaced and continue to do so. Quite frankly, this blogger makes lots of mistakes and kind-hearted souls have pointed them out but nobody has ever complained that I use two spaces after a period. By the way, this really isn’t a call to action.
For a Sunday, where do your feelings lie?
- one space or two after a period or sentence ending punctuation
- do you have a strong opinion one way or the other?
- why is it incorrect to use the left thumb to tap the space bar? (I seriously would like an answer to this one)
- does your keyboard have a shiny spot centre right on the space bar where your right thumb hits the space bar and the rest of your space bar is factory fresh?
I hope that you have fun with this one and share your thoughts. Plus, if you feel strongly one way or the other, give us your best rationale in the comments below. Go ahead and try to convince me that I’m yet again wrong.