A period followed by two spaces solves a real problem with ambiguity. At one point is it enough? All your ranting just shows that you are the one behind the times. It’s the very reason we departed from the Venetian style and tried to find a certain rationale behind typefaces which is based on design and construction rather than writing. . As far as I know, AP (the journalist style manual) is the ONLY style manual that has changed to 1 space. Still, I’ll own the obnoxious pr**k part. The main people perpetrating this myth are the 20-something college journalist students. id Summary Owner Type Status Priority Milestone 66 HTML Tidy for XHTML processing New Feature confirmed Normal 101 IE: Can't use the Styles combo with TR, TD, TH Bug closed Normal 167 Improving IsDirty after switching modes and undo Bug confirmed Normal 171 Unable to set textfield char width to 20 Martin Kou Bug review_failed Low 228 Clean HTML function (separate from Clean From Word … I think it’s time we put an end to the bullying. And for the most part it is a bad habit. There are a lot of holdovers from earlier eras of language, because language is an organic, additive process. It’s more attractive to have two spaces between sentences regardless of typeset. Several popular fonts are still “monospace,” even on a computer. http://www.apastyle.org/manual/whats-new.aspx. I suppose I have felt distress about what I have observed as a serious decline in use of the English language. like glass. ), Although there was not a fixed practice using extra spacing after periods during the early centuries of printing, it is not difficult to find examples in every age. He didn’t, so what was meant to be a monolinear logo was actually a logo with emphasis on the horizontal strokes. So do we underline or italicize all italicized words? For centuries, the rule was to put a greater distance between sentences than between words, from 1.4 to 3 times more space, depending on the guide. Call me old fashioned, but it is, from what I have been taught, the correct way to type. I usually opt for whatever helps people to understand each other. This article is being passed around our group today for further discussion. 2!” Enough said…. Thus the Didone style was created. However, I find it hard to find the end of a sentence in typed material nowadays. “Just because i am over 55 does not mean I am backwards or do not understand the latest technology.” I have a small question. This one cracked me up. i am not sure that this structure will show in this medium. u feel me? If you pay attention, proportionally-spaced fonts allocate *LESS* width for a space than did monospaced fonts. Word processors and computers and everything that is not a very old typewriter use mostly proportionally spaced fonts, which adjust spacing to the size of the letter. For those who think the second word-space is important for helping readers to recognize the end of a sentence—what do you think the capital letter on the first word of a sentence is there for? One can’t spell ‘contemporary’ without ‘temporary’, and I will not defer to typographers when I know they are incorrect, just as I would not have deferred to them (or anyone else) in Germany before the war. If your foreword is part of the story, you may include it. I understand now that I should have set the indent in Word through Format->Paragraph->Section before I began writing and it would automatically indent the proper spacing. Manuscript formatting used to require underlining in the manuscript for words you wanted italicised/italicized in the published work. This is the site that published these words about itself: “Freelancers especially seem to have figured out how to get through Slate’s editorial defenses: Pitch a story, any story, that’s counterintuitive, and someone on the receiving end will say ‘brilliant!’” It also helps clarify through a defined rule- without having to use or understand the context- when a period ends a sentence, and when it just appears as part of a word. So I FEEL like I am still putting a double space as it was ingrained so long ago, but there is actually just one. Whether you put “standard” in quotes or not, the fact that the word standard is used here is rather telling. And it is not necessary to type two spaces to get a period on a smart phone. I f electronic, MS Word docx, pdf, txt, or ? “It was a very large no. How petty! Tables of contents pages are required for setting up an eBook. While I’ve used many style guides over the years, notably Chicago, Associated Press [although I never understood why THAT one], CBE, and APA, it’s been AMA for the past, oh, 25+ years. Not only does it give the actors a break, but it is easier to estimate the time a page of script will take in production. However, I do find the larger space between sentences to be slightly more important than the space between words, even though there IS an ending punctuation mark. Pick up any book–you know, a real book–and see what I’m talking about. I can have fun with formatting. Now we’re handling digital typography and since the late 90s there has been a return to typographic sophistication and you want to argue that double spaces are preferred because typists used to do it because with their limited technology they were mimicking the half spaces of classical typography. Early home printers produced type in a very limited selection of fonts and styles, not much more refined than the typewriter (five-option dot matrix? The lines have become blurred between typesetting and just typing a manuscript so I guess you pays yr money ‘n takes yr choice! Who insisted on using Fracktur for so long? I learned as a 9th grader in school….old habits die hard I guess. And I’ll tell you one other thing: Business leaders still use two spaces, especially the higher up that business leader happens to be. Mainly, because that is my preference in how I present what I write. W ould yo us ay th is tex t is com forta ble to read? wow some of you guys take this really seriously. Whatever (now there’s a current accepted usage that you should vent your Usage and Style rage on). THis is a solution without a problem. We used pens with nibs and real ink, and learned GRAMMER!!! The only exception I can think of is to divide the numbers in a date notation. I’m primarily concerned with people who are still sticking to the old rule because they think it’s still a rule. Ugh. I’m 31 and do the two spaces. I copy edited for the New England Journal of Medicine for a year, my first and only real foray into publishing, and there I learned a bunch of new rules I didn’t know before — both grammatical and technical. I also agree with ERSATZ – way too much fuss over how a person chooses to use a little white space. It is important to use two spaces in the U.S. Capitol Police Division typewriting pool, because then…, Note that you don’t know whether “U.S.” ends a sentence until you see what comes after “pool.”. My family just brought this point up! You sound like a great teacher! Uno. ( Lets just say that 40 is a ways back and leave it at that.) So at the very latest you know the whole thing is to be taken as a sentence by the time you actually reach the comma, not after. I never heard of the lowercase “l” habit. i mene why even worry bout spellin yo. Yes, standards change, hence the constant debate over the Oxford comma, but most changes such as these take place fairly naturally over time. Moreover, even with ‘proportional’ fonts, I still find that two spaces makes it easier to distinguish a new sentence…especially when looking at very tiny text on a smart phone, for instance. Often an optical variant with less contrast was used, or a typeface like Baskerville, which works very well with Didone typefaces. Whether they’re aware of what the typographers advise or not, some people still maintain their opinions and it’s usually because they grew up with certain ideals. More modern technology actually makes things even worse because computers have a really hard time figuring out whether to display all the spaces present in a chunk of text, and an equally hard time automatically determining appropriate spacing based on context. Perhaps more than anything I’m hoping that you or one of your teacher colleagues will reassure me that someone still values our language. I have always wondered why we do this at work as it is quite rigorously enforced during editing / quality control, so thanks you kindly for the explanation. I believe the forgotten delineation is from the lack of educational awareness, in the last few generations, making it a pseudo standard; as no one truly has to write in grade school anymore. Neither does repeatedly asserting that it is right doesn’t make it right. Yes, I do have a FB page; if you scroll up to the top of this page, you’ll see all my social media links in black boxes. Yes, this one has been brought up to me repeatedly, and I have no answers to this one! I’m well over 40 and learned to type on a manual typewriter in the early ’70s. But it comes down to two main points- one historical, and the other aesthetic. Those sentence structures make me cringe and note the author is not professional. I think two spaces is more pleasing to the eye and makes for better reading. Learn how your comment data is processed. It can be a current book or one that’s 50 years old. A typewriter, not a computer. I assumed that anyone who used two spaces did it only because they didn’t know better, but now I see that this is not the case. Although I’ve written many short stories and articles this is my first novel. There is a kind of kinship between people who care about the details in any given field. Readers are too impatient, We have to grab them and keep them. I think the reason younger people do it is because they were taught the practice by older people, and as you can see from this long thread of comments, there are plenty of people of all ages who agree with you. The method of treatment of photographs and illustrations varies greatly. There are so many debates about style regarding who is right, who is wrong. I tried to reason out why people should be using two spaces after a period. It’s editors that are warring against two spaces. It was formal looking and quite frankly when I see a single space after a period, I think you are uneducated and it looks sloppy! I’m just hoping that a little background information will at least help those who write the style guides do so with all the facts. You add strain to the eyes which diminishes the reading experience. As a definitely over 40, I also did typing at school, though never learnt to do the double spacing. All space needs to be filled with something. I think it’s funny that on this particular comment board, the font is such that I cannot tell the difference between a period and a comma without squinting, on a big font on a 27″ HD full screen, and I have 20/20 vision. If it’s so important to so many that we’re all single spacing in the new century, then why aren’t we using writing software that auto corrects double spacing? Use your pen name on the header of each page. CKISNER1, can I start a sentence with “yet” or should it have followed a semi-colon? I learned typing on a manual typewriter in the 80s but with the advent of computers almost all businesses (and my university profs) switched to 1 space. Can't find what you are looking for? Everyone makes spelling mistakes and I don’t know anyone who can remember all those grammar rules we were taught in school. I am just starting to write my first novel (after vigorous outlining and planning) and this article helped so much in actually starting it. BTW, I obviously am over 40 (took typing in high-school too!). One thing I have always insisted on is the two space method. I thought that they were just dumb, but I am wondering now if the teleprompters use a single space after the period, and they are unable to see the end of the sentence in time to get their phrasing correct. Well, you are hearing a bout it now, from yet another source. Consequently, I feel that one space after a period makes the text harder to read, so I still use 2. In the bottom left corner, click the Format button, then select Paragraph… This opens the Paragraph dialog. In any event, I’m a paralegal at a law office. Hi — thanks for sharing this. I can vouch that one space after a period (or exclamation point or question mark) is today’s standard. Most, if not all, publishers will require certain formats when dealing with manuscripts. I considered it, but I tend to update the book a couple of times a month. That’s what formatting your word processor is for. Much appreciated. No, you’re wrong there. It’s been a long time since Octavius Augustus and I were classmates, but I am pretty sure that’s the language used there. At the same time, we like to think we’re professionals so of course we can’t just go wild. I would prefer a 1.4 or 1.5-space width space between sentences, but until that becomes an option, double is the only current alternative that retains the advantages of greater spacing between sentences than between words. Do we really need to cater to the business people who are only using double spaces because they grew up with the typewriter? You may find that many people still do it because they were taught it during typing class. That quote was in reference to someone talking about what he observed in American books from that time period. And yet, they do make decisions about things they don’t actually see. Invariably that’s what will happen (another example is the fact that most people use hyphens where dashes should be used simply because dashes are less accessible on your keyboard), but that absolutely doesn’t mean it’s justified. I suggest that either style should be acceptable. She's also a YouTube star.…” You do not need to use 2 spaces any longer when typing on a computer. See: Both are great. It slows down the speed of reading very slightly allowing the reader to absorb the sentence info better. Having the extra space between sentences does mean pause. in multi player online games it is socially unacceptable to write full paragraphs. And regardless of historical use, the fact is that most of us consider the handling of double spaces to be aesthetically displeasing and unprofessional. I am a Mechanical Engineer and one of those who is strongly resisting the “new concept” of single-spacing sentences because in many fonts it makes text far more difficult to follow. Use one period of you want, but don’t try to convince the rest of us that it is better or “correct.” It’s not. I would rather think a bit more than getting a headache from reading. I talk with typographers and type designers regularly and I think there are very few who would argue for double spaces, especially considering historically one and a half space was preferred and not a double space. Remember that with letterpress printing you have a lot less control over the spacing of your text—both word spacing as well as letter spacing. [Actually, that is NOT all! For a quick reader, two spaces helps distinguish between a comma (signifying a pause) vs. a period (signifying a complete thought). Double space or single space, but at least choose one. When reading quickly, the same thing happens, and I find I have to go back and re-read at least part of the sentence to understand what it says before going on. You just me brought back with scary visions from my typing classes in middle school. Dax, [click to see example]: Your last name / The book title / Page Number Example: Dax MacGregor / My Story / 152. When I was in college in the 70’s and high school in the 60’s there was no space after punctuation. Why shoot yourself in the foot when you can simply use one space after a period? So, now all of a sudden, it’s old-fashioned to double space. Yes, I’m over 40, but by not much and I will always type two spaces after a period. I’m definitely not implying being a typographer is a very important job, but you’re completely undermining my profession and I protest the notion that what I do doesn’t matter. When I write I am focused on the words, not how many spaces I put at the end of a sentence. Is it acceptable/common place to use single hash quotations when attributing faux dialogue to inanimate objects? I wrote a book called Frequently Misused/Misspelled Words and Phrases: and How to Use Them Correctly. Do you find that to be logical? I am 68. Although your sources are quite correct, I still passionately disagree with you. Multiple spaces clarify the difference between the working instructions on the left, and the comments on the right. Are you on Facebook? Was not at all passionate about such a class, so I was relieved when it was outed. For now, I apologize for the offense and hope you’ll come back to comment some time in the future. Usage will likely determine this over time, but if it doesn’t, so what? Some info out there says that you don’t indent the opening paragraph of a chapter or scene break. In all that time (and note that I am well past 40) I have never encountered any “rule” suggesting double-spacing after end punctuation. It goes against the principles of proper typography. During the Baroque there was quite a lot of typographic experimentation. I’ve written a manuscript and originally it was told in 5 parts. If you don’t think it is a problem, talk to some folks over 55 who have tried to, or have been forced to, change jobs recently. I’m sorry. Also, when my mom was teaching me handwriting, she told me to always use a “one finger” space between words and a “two finger” space between sentences. And I’m “only” 38, ha ha! My thumb bounces twice on the space bar without any input from my brain. Requirements of each agent and publisher vary. I’m over 65, and I intend to continue this practice so long as I continue to read and write. This is because a period can be used within one. After giving to some trusted readers, they gave feedback that the parts were too long and so I’ve begun breaking them into chapters. ARRGGH! Even though I now write on a computer, my scripts appear in courier font. I said to myself that is crazy because I am only 28 years old, I have always done word processing on a computer and have ALWAYS put two spaces after the end of the sentence. Brief point of interest related to the age issue: in 1987, when you were learning to type on an IBM Selectric, I had already been using personal computers and word processing software to write and edit for a national publication for several years. Only because I’m a bit of a geek do I even know about this change. In Latin writing we have a lot of variety in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions, so we do need to divide to make our text easier to interpret. I think that the self appointed writing style advocates should tone down the militancy a notch, this article, however being more conciliatory than some. I am assuming that the manuscripts can be written front and back of each paper and not only one clean sheet per page unless the publisher requests otherwise. However, I’m pretty certain if you look at pages throughout the centuries, you will notice that double spaces are rarely used. Second, and implied in the first, the absolutism of your article is just silly. I actually hate that HTML compresses two spaces into one, like in this reply I’m using the proper two spaces after a period but it’s probably going to display incorrectly as only one space. If you were in England, I think you made $ by combining S and /.). if you consider Harry Potter, i want to know the page size of it so that i can buy the papers! It says a WIDER space. For most of my life typography was not particularly noticeable to me. Over 50 and I intend to do it the way I want! Sometimes I see inner thoughts formatted just like dialogue, but to me this invites confusion between actual dialogue and unspoken thoughts. Ha! The one-space rule remains inferior, and I don’t care what some smug clown who says he “knows better” or that two spaces are “inarguably wrong” has to say on the subject. Also, I can tell you that when I see a double space, my focus heightens unnecessarily. . In my mind it doesn’t, however it does create a consistent flow. The use of two spaces after end punctuation is still appropriate, like the Oxford comma, in some circumstances and not necessarily in others. And now that I’m finally in grad school, I DESPISE AND LOATHE Turabian. One is plentiful. In other words, i have no idea how to format so many different forms of communication and i need help. I’ve had to learn different syntax rules depending on the programming language I used. I believe that for non-justified alignment (left aligned), double spaces look better. It CAN be done, but then the type designers need to address this and technology needs to advance a bit further. The fact that this is so has little to do with their motivation, and their motivation shouldn’t affect ours. And yes, I also rail at the misuse of to, too, and two; your and you’re; and their, there, and they’re. Seems like an uphill battle. It is only a number and, hopefully, affords me some sort of respectability, at least for longevity. Experiment: I can still code and actually have an advantage there compared to my classmates at the art academy since most of them have yet to learn coding. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change this! Whether a single or a double space is handled after a period is absolutely relevant to typographers. The generic of the format is that when the manuscript is scent to formatting for publish it creates a flowing book without creating extra work of having to go through and fix spacing and other errors created from spacing start of paragraphs instead of using the paragraph indent option, or … When writing in my Celtx word processor, I double space. They’re stuck in their ways and are not open to the notion that times change and they ought to change with it. Don’t indent using tabs or spaces. The basic purpose of all spelling, punctuation and typographic rules is to promote clarity of communication by avoiding confusion and ambiguity. 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