space space

Pop quiz: when you type, do you put two spaces between sentences, or just one?


Marian's picture
Marian on October 23, 2008 - 19:30 Permalink

You’re supposed to put two. I usually do. Don’t you?

dria's picture
dria on October 23, 2008 - 19:31 Permalink

Two spaces here, although I’m slowly breaking that habit because twitter counts them both and that’s just a waste of characters :)

Pat Garrity's picture
Pat Garrity on October 23, 2008 - 19:35 Permalink

Always two after a period.

John Boylan's picture
John Boylan on October 23, 2008 - 19:37 Permalink

I have a vague memory that the two space rule is a carry-over from typesetting and typewriters where every character took up the same amount of space and an extra space was needed after a full stop for the eye to register the sentence. This isn’t the case anymore, I gather, and style guides vary in their advice. As always, consitency is the goal. I use a single space.

Alan's picture
Alan on October 23, 2008 - 19:57 Permalink

Two…but D. Burka laughed at me once in 2002 for doing so — giving rise to a tiny recollection of my oldie olson status whenever I do.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on October 23, 2008 - 20:01 Permalink

Only one — modern fonts handle this for you now. Also, whitespace is ignored in HTML, so two spaces are always treated as one on the web.

jypsy's picture
jypsy on October 23, 2008 - 20:04 Permalink

One. We were just having this conversation in our house last week.

Derekmac's picture
Derekmac on October 23, 2008 - 20:13 Permalink

One. I stopped typing two when I traded my Smith Corona in for WordStar on a CP/M machine back around 1982 or so. Two is only needed for monospaced fonts.

Deane's picture
Deane on October 23, 2008 - 20:38 Permalink

Two, but just through force of habit. Not sure if I’m actually supposed to anymore.

My mother was a secretary all her life, and she put three spaces in.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 23, 2008 - 20:44 Permalink

I should have mentioned that I am wedded to the two-space, something drummed into me from my manual typewriter days — I can actually hear the two “clunks” in my head when I remember those days.

I believe Daniel Burka also made fun of me for this (after making fun of me for indenting the paragraphs on my blog).

I was once sharing the editing of a document with some Euro-colleagues, which inspired one of them to write:

I like the subtle hidden encoding who wrote which parts of the text using european single spaces and north-american double spaces between the sentences ;)
dria's picture
dria on October 23, 2008 - 21:39 Permalink

Two is pure habit for me. I was taught this way when I took typing in highschool about eighty million years ago, and typing habits are a pain to break.

oliver's picture
oliver on October 23, 2008 - 22:02 Permalink

I’ve always understood single spacing to be wrong. I’ve done it anyway at times, but I’m not proud of it.

Chuck's picture
Chuck on October 23, 2008 - 23:16 Permalink

One. I was trained in high school typing class to use two, but broke the habit once I started using desktop publishing software.

Kelly's picture
Kelly on October 23, 2008 - 23:56 Permalink

Always two; Hangover from learning proper letter format. Also, four hard returns after closing salutation in an email or letter — like Dria said, old habits are hard to break.

Alan's picture
Alan on October 24, 2008 - 02:37 Permalink

Daniel Burka gets a cherry belly next time he, Ruk and I are in the same room. I’ll hold him. I’m bigger.

Valerie's picture
Valerie on October 24, 2008 - 11:54 Permalink

If you’re using APA style for editing, it’s 2 after a period.