Single or Double

Yesterday we started an interesting discussion over at workabout spacing. Do you put one space or two after a period. Lynsie and I are both believers in 2 spaces. But others here disagreed. We have even taken the debate to google and found a video of someone strongly advocating for one space.
Apparently the two spaces were historically added when typing on a typewriter because typewriter spacing was so tricky. As the conversation continued through out the day we learned that computers now correct you for adding two spaces.
I thought of James’ (since I am writing about grammar I just had to pause for a consultation about how to correctly make James possessive) post about the governments involvement. I am just not sure I like Word having so much control over my writing. If I want to put two spaces after a period that is my prerogative.
For now Lynsie and I will stick to two spaces – double space forever, single space never.

3 Comments so far

  1. Alissa (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    As a journalism student, I learned to live and die by AP style, which calls for one space (to conserve valuable print real estate, I presumed). I’m surprised to know that not only is the one-space policy used more generally but that word processors are auto-correcting for it.


  2. Carolyn (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    Online, the format is one space after a period, because browsers don’t recognize two blank spaces — they’ll only display one.


  3. James Foreman (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

    I, for one, agree with Lindsay and Lynsie – two spaces after a period.

    I submitted a ton of manuscripts to various periodicals in my younger years, back in the days before e-subs were permitted. The Style Guide was king: monospaced font, 1″ margins, long space between title and beginning of the piece, and most definitely two spaces after every period. Swollen slush piles were thus easily lanced by simply tossing the violators of the Style Guide into the circular file. After all, if you didn’t care enough to make sure your margins were an inch on every side, then you probably didn’t care that much about your writing.

    Even so, I agree that the tyranny of Microsoft Word must be ended forthwith. Armed rebellion, such as that waged by our forefathers, might be necessary.

    Unlike our government, however, one can alter Microsoft Word to do our bidding, and force it to apply the precise amount of liberty we desire from our word processors.

    If only Congress worked the same way.



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