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one space after a period instead of two?

topic posted Wed, March 14, 2007 - 10:30 AM by  Lee
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Who decides these things. Don't they know that the distance allowed by the double space, provides ample room for a new beginning? As well, it allows the comma and period to have their own sense of self!

Standing firm!

Any thoughts?
posted by:
Lee
offline Lee
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  • Re: one space after a period instead of two?

    Thu, March 15, 2007 - 8:42 AM
    "Any thoughts?"

    Most formal style guides call for two spaces after a period. Newspaper columns are sometimes so narrow that two spaces results in a jagged gutter, so they use one space (we used two spaces at our newspaper and the jagged gutter wasn't really a problem).

    Informally, people do whatever the hell they want. Of course, informally, "ur" is an abbreviation and not an ancient city.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: one space after a period instead of two?

    Thu, March 15, 2007 - 3:25 PM
    In days gone-by, when type was set in metal, I'm sure one space was correct. I spent quite a few years setting metal type by hand and poring over typography books when I was a teenager! Most book typesetting still seems to adhere to this, although if the type is justified the space can appear bigger. When I did a course in touch typing it was rap over the knuckles if two spaces weren't put in... so where does that leave us? Right back where we started!

    Yours truly, a punctuation fan
  • Re: one space after a period instead of two?

    Fri, March 16, 2007 - 12:06 AM
    I believe two spaces was in usage for mono space fonts, such as old fashioned typewriters that always used the same amount of space for each letter. old fashioned print technology, such as the old Dyno label makers, highway signs, and those office door signs still use mono fonts (er, but don't usually use periods or sentences). But even the Dyno label makers have been updated to use the alternative: variable space fonts. on your computer, you can still find some mono space fonts, such as certain cuts of Courier.

    variable space fonts fit together better--such as a lowecase f does not take up the same width space as a capital M. the flow of a sentence typed in variable space fonts alleviates the need for two spaces after a period. since the letters flow together better in variable space fonts, reading a paragraph hardly requires the eye the relief of the two spaces. variable space fonts are extremely prevalent in most type we see in ads, publications, signage and even on screens (like phones, tvs, computers).

    technology has changed the standards that were developed with older technologies. i.e. times change. the need (rest for the eye) has been solved with variable space fonts, so we don't use the old solution (two spaces after period).
    • Re: one space after a period instead of two?

      Fri, March 16, 2007 - 8:52 AM
      Hm. Last time I checked, manuscript submission and most professional formats (such as prose manuscripts, screenplays, etc.) still require a certain precise format (monospaced Courier, in fact).

      But a lot of that is based on adhering to Ancient Texts.
  • Re: one space after a period instead of two?

    Tue, April 10, 2007 - 10:46 PM
    i wish i knew where i read it but one space is sufficient. there's some archaic reasoning behind the double space. considering the period is so small it allows for the illusion of two spaces when there is really only one. double space just looks awkward to me ever since i read that.

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