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Two spaces or one after a period?

browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
21 of 44

This has actually been driving me insane for about a year now.  I learned two spaces as a kid and have stuck with it. However, it would seem on-line text editors expect one, so many times my sentences will get indented a space after posting or while I am typing and it goes to a new line.  Absolutely making me go bonkers!

zujay
Ace Contributor
Robyn L Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
22 of 44

I learned typing at high school - two spaces or else!

 

Until I was employed in the computer industry, I adhered to this. Somewhere along the way at work, I switched to single space after a full stop. It was no problem for me even though I type at 90 words per inute.

 

In publishing, typesetting looks better with one space. When I work on a client job - editing or reformatting - I start by doing a search and replace.

 

I the big scheme of things, does it really matter as long as the work looks neat?

 

I'll never go back to two spaces. One reason is that it can affect the white space between words iright justify is used.

 

Just my view. Thanks for this blast fromthe past.

 

Cheers - Robyn

 

 

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
23 of 44

Two spaces is clearly wrong, and there are so many reasons, but old-school for old-school's sake will always be stubborn. My irritation with the refusal of some to conform is that it makes more work for me when I'm setting text, but they're paying for it, so whatever.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
24 of 44

@Jess C wrote:

Two spaces is clearly wrong, and there are so many reasons, but old-school for old-school's sake will always be stubborn. My irritation with the refusal of some to conform is that it makes more work for me when I'm setting text, but they're paying for it, so whatever.


Jess, it's not entirely wrong. It depends on the context. When APA recommends it for clarity, it is more a formatting convention for academic  essays and dissertations, which may not get formally published.

 

But as you say, it is not ever recommended for general publishing. And typesetters hate it, I know.

 

[OT I have some personal hates against the formatting of a great many self-published works, where (aside from the two spaces between sentences) there is incorrect line and paragraph spacing and indentation, particularly when it comes to dialogue in fiction. Drives me nuts!]

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
25 of 44

 

@Nichola L wrote:

Jess, it's not entirely wrong. It depends on the context. When APA recommends it for clarity, it is more a formatting convention for academic  essays and dissertations, which may not get formally published.

 

But as you say, it is not ever recommended for general publishing. And typesetters hate it, I know.

 

[OT I have some personal hates against the formatting of a great many self-published works, where (aside from the two spaces between sentences) there is incorrect line and paragraph spacing and indentation, particularly when it comes to dialogue in fiction. Drives me nuts!]


If you're typing on an eighties-era typewriter, sure use two spaces. But if you're using modern word processing software and modern fonts, it's completely and totally wrong. Always. :-p

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
26 of 44

@Jess C wrote:

 


If you're typing on an eighties-era typewriter, sure use two spaces. But if you're using modern word processing software and modern fonts, it's completely and totally wrong. Always. :-p


 On what basis do you declare that following the AP Style Guide is "completely and totally wrong"? 

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
27 of 44

AP changed its style about 2008/2009 to one space (if memory serves me right).

 

It's APA that still adheres to two spaces - and IMO this really relates to school and college essays and dissertations. But I could be wrong. When I follow this style, I use a single space between sentences unless specifically instructed to leave the double space.

 

Overall, I think single has taken precedence over double for a variety of historic and font-related reasons. However, much depends on justified text, which can play havoc with any spacing!!

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
28 of 44

@Nichola L wrote:

AP changed its style about 2008/2009 to one space (if memory serves me right).

 

You're right. I think the point stands, though.

 

 


 

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
29 of 44

@Nichola L wrote:

AP changed its style about 2008/2009 to one space (if memory serves me right).

 

It's APA that still adheres to two spaces - and IMO this really relates to school and college essays and dissertations. But I could be wrong. When I follow this style, I use a single space between sentences unless specifically instructed to leave the double space.

 

Overall, I think single has taken precedence over double for a variety of historic and font-related reasons. However, much depends on justified text, which can play havoc with any spacing!!


 APA only allows two spaces in draft manuscripts, not final publication.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
30 of 44

Jess, as I said, APA recommends it for academic work that is not necessarily traditionally or formally  published. However, I work by in-house rules. Publishers very often vary the recommended style guides to suit their own needs.

 

I'm not too sure about the rest of Europe, but spacing in France is completely different. And although one space is recommended between sentences, there is invariably a space between the last word and a semi- colon, a colon, question mark, and exclamation mark, for example. 

 

A certain amount of flexibility is required. If I asked for a book in French to be typeset, I would expect French rules to prevail.

 

ETA: But as I also said, I automatically correct double spacing between sentences to single unless otherwise asked.

 

 

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