if you have not seen it yet. We still use two spaces. But in the 70s, I started working as a typesetter—later loftily called a typographer. If anything, proportionally-spaced fonts have made it *HARDER* to see the breaks between sentences, than it was in monospaced-font days. And typically, like most of this new generation, they are quick to be scornful and dismissive of anything which suggests they’re not brilliant. 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. I know what we are “supposed” to type now, but I don’t like to see it, so I will not use it. It’s mostly the people who aren’t well versed in typography and its history who will argue against the double space for aesthetic reasons. Two spaces is what they taught me in elementary school and it just stuck ever since. But they do keep the period if the abbrev. However regarding the poster who can’t deal with her mom leaving a space before punctuation marks … is your mom European ? THANKS!! The standardization of 2 spaces after a period was meant to separate the ideas of two sentences. (But I do double space after the punctuation of a sentence.). Still, it’s not a fair comparison. They had no idea. No harm, no foul. I’m wondering why I didn’t get the memo about this rule change. If one writes very clearly the punctuation isn’t needed to understand the meaning. You do not need to use 2 spaces any longer when typing on a computer. however when communicating in a game online, every sentence is ended by pressing enter to send the message. 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. The British have a nice workaround for this situation, since they often drop the period after an abbreviation (e.g. I have been telling all my over 40 friends this, too. Please ignore this ‘new rule’ and do what makes sense to you. I learned to type on an old, manual typewriter without a 1. I agree with you and disagree with the writer of this article. A timeline seems right. Every sentence stands out as separate. The only exception I can think of is to divide the numbers in a date notation. As soon as a first reader or I saw a manuscript that didn’t follow the “rules,” I would clip a rejection notice onto the front page of the manuscript, slip it back into the envelope if the first reader hadn’t already done so (then called a SASE–a self-addressed, stamped envelope) for the mail crew to pick up out of my out box and return to the author. We live in an era of age discrimination. Yikes!! Where would a wanna-be writer find all the rules in one spot? See below. The submission requirements vary significantly between different agents and publishers. Question – If a chapter begins with dialog, should you indent or not? Seems like an uphill battle. So you can keep up your ridiculous second space, and time, technology and common sense will get rid of it for you. There’s nothing like editing free speach and opinions! As someone who appreciates practicality, ease of intaking information (the most basic purpose of reading) is more important to me than the percieved aesthetics (which change from person to person anyway). I should have known it was going to attract people who had serious grammar chops! http://www.heracliteanriver.com/?p=324 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. I’ve been following the Freddie Gray story all morning, which makes this particular thread seem all the more inconsequential. Only because I’m a bit of a geek do I even know about this change. 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? But I have yet to work in a company that actually DOES straight AMA editing. MLA and Chicago Manual of Style, as well as AP, use one space. Thank you! Just use one space? And regardless of historical use, the fact is that most of us consider the handling of double spaces to be aesthetically displeasing and unprofessional. My book needs to have: written letters and emails, dialogue, diary writings and copies of legal documents and photos. Two spaces after a period does NOT improve readability; it creates rivers of white space that are most annoying. The strictly non-restrictive “which” for example is not so strictly required but many technical writers adopt it for clarity. Paragraphs. I assume your class just didnt have them. The irritation for me is that there is an increased sense of awareness at the end of a sentence when a double space has been utilized. all of them computerized. I tried to reason out why people should be using two spaces after a period. For now, I apologize for the offense and hope you’ll come back to comment some time in the future. But we can’t be so nitpicky the rules become more important than the content. Sorry, but you’re wrong. A teacher of Senior English, I do it and require it only because it means, at least with the research paper, the students haven’t simply pasted and copied from an internet source. Is it acceptable/common place to use single hash quotations when attributing faux dialogue to inanimate objects? The new rule IS one space after a period. The a single space was used allowing the continuation of the single idea. Next time I see a huge billboard with the possessive word KID’S, when the author really means KIDS’, I may scream! I love them. Then you people need to not only continue using two spaces to make your written communications easier to read, but you need to stop writing articles and essays about how people “need to stop using two spaces.”. And for the most part it is a bad habit. No author can exist and succeed without the help of others, so it is best to format it to the way in which the agents, editors, etc like and expect it. It would have been two words if you had said “at any time.”, By the way, I really like the name Jennifer. So double-space your manuscript and separate sentences with a single space. I have several bibles set in bad transitional Clarendon/style typefaces. I’m only 29 – but I grew up doing two spaces. here is a deal– i don’t use capitalization nor normal punctuation– however, i do use commas and double spaces– tell you what, you give up your capitals and normal punctuation and i’ll try a single space–, nothing says over forty like a concern that someone knows where you learned to type–. Adding half a space after the period would be preferable, but adding a full extra space is a nasty solution as it diminishes the reading experience. If God himself came down from Heaven and told me to stop I probably wouldn’t since it’s such a deeply ingrained habit and I have bigger things to worry about. I just heard about this on the radio the other day, they said that it shows your age if you put two spaces after a period. I am 25 years old, and space twice after sentences. Besides the fact that my fingers (and thumb) automatically hit the space bar twice at the end of a sentence, my eyes welcome the extra space that signals my feeble brain that the end of a sentence is at hand. Wow! It is very easy. I stopped reading him after he hyperventilated about this a few years ago, and he added nothing that wasn’t already widely known. In my first publishing job, we typed translations of foreign technical journals on either a selectric or an executive typewriter, depending on the material and the symbols involved. Most of us simply don’t know much about typography and so we couldn’t make any informed decisions on it. (A final note- the one thing that is absolutely, always wrong, is being inconsistent with spacing. Look at my previous posts on this page for elaborate explanations. At least, that’s my main guess. The newer ones are self-published, but the older ones were published by McGraw-Hill and other publishing houses, big and small. Think otherwise and you are speaking and writing in the wrong language. (p.s. I do!! That’s ignorance. No website yet, the one that popped up below is not set up yet. It is a story the average editor will not comprehend as truthfulness. So do we underline or italicize all italicized words? Double word-spaces weren’t acceptable in garage-sale flyers or in high-end reports. If you were in England, I think you made $ by combining S and /.). I understand that line 1 starts 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down the page. It is after all an easy fix in the editing process of something. By the way, she can’t spell either and has no intention of learning, “because there’s Spell check”… Its not important. Continue to use single spaces if you must, but just be aware that you are stuck in a practice which has on balance demonstrably more negatives than benefits. Using one space may not be enough for some to properly divide, but it doesn’t create extra strain on the eyes. Also, three exclamation marks are not allowed. However, it’s annoying when people go into rants about this and only talk about typewriters, not about typography. Also, I suspect the Thai script denotes whole words and not letters. In typography there is always a consideration of both aesthetics and functionality. Any direction we move closer to this (even as subtle as changing double spaces to singe spaces) is a move in the wrong direction! The term "trolling" originally comes from fishing, rather than the fantasy creature. Once upon a time, people had to abbreviate file names for documents to something like eight characters (I can’t recall exactly.) it should just come if you search Page Four This is a writing program just for us. However, as you might guess the en-dash and em-dash are called such because they’re dashes with the length of the letter N and M. Em-dashes often tend to be too obtrusive. Hi John. Do you require so much emphasis on the division? they’re, there, their, etc.) Eventually we enter into a period of industrialization and this is where you will see a regress in typography. Within 50 years the Garalde style is introduced and at this point typefaces because less calligraphic and more mechanical. So I submit that the early typists were simply following the practice that was common in their day. Once they saw it, they couldn’t unsee it. I take great joy and pride in being an old fart. If you compare those documents to a printed book or magazine, you’re likely to see a difference. Graduate School everyone tells others ‘how to do it’, writing like any art form belongs to the creator…. It’s just easier to read. Perhaps so. Reference the comments above. I just vividly remember being at my family’s printing shop trying to use that typewriter and emphatically thinking (or perhaps yelling), “where’s the one key?” and a secretary calmly informing me that you were supposed to use the L, adding, “Didn’t you know that?”. I understand that chapters start on a fresh page, but how should I break up my parts? However, I’m pretty certain if you look at pages throughout the centuries, you will notice that double spaces are rarely used. I write in manuscript format from the start for several reasons: These guidelines apply to the entire manuscript. See below. And if you’ve read my follow up post (see the link up there), you’ll see that this one prompted some deep thinking on my part. I’m over 40 and totally understand the resistance to change. That’s because–and here’s a little reverse ageism–it has become a common belief at my company that no one under 30 is capable of writing a coherent sentence, much less anything longer. But hey – I also broke this into paragraphs using an enter or “return” key. The lesson from this is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and legibility is greatly influenced by what you are used to. There are workarounds, but they are fairly clunky. If a scientist submits a research summary for a New England Journal of Medicine publication and writes “John Hopkins” instead of “Johns Hopkins,” I’m pretty sure no one would be confused about which institution is being referred to. But then I’m WAY over 40. Excuse me for inserting my opinion into this debate but being over 50% past the 40 threshold allows me the privilege. I know my grammar is not perfect and my punctuation could always use a good editor. With OpenType functionality you can add a lot of advanced features in your typeface which the end user can utilize. Also let me say that all this talk about typographers is nonsense. Howling about double spacing at the end of sentences is like bitching about the Eisenhower Administration. Here it is: Unless you are typing on an actual typewriter, you no longer have to put two spaces after a period. Whatever the final ruling on spacing is, no one should be pressing the spacebar twice after a sentence. It’s pretty automatic for me now too. actually looked for double spaces in cover letters and resumes to weed out “older” candidates. Hah. What about between the state and the zip code in an address? Well I’m over 60, so there will always be two spaces after a period. A single space is always correct, and may be used in both draft and final manuscripts. I agree with you there. How have you been ? I f electronic, MS Word docx, pdf, txt, or ? You sound like a great teacher! Call me old fashioned, but it is, from what I have been taught, the correct way to type. This type of typeface is beautiful for display purposes, but it’s a strain on the eye if you set extended texts using such a high contrast letter. ), I don’t understand the irritation over this. I’m glad you like the site — hope you come back! (Don’t even consider indenting a paragraph with 5 spaces.) 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