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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Period space space

Thereís a useful discussion of whether or not to put one space or two at the end of sentence at the Typophile Forums.

Back when high schools actually taught touch typing, two spaces was absolutely mandatory. Thatís the way I learned. Itís an impossible habit to break. Iím so deeply entrenched in the period space space format, I donít think brainwashing would even break it. I use the same rule for the colon (two spaces). But, the semi-colon only gets one space.

For those times when ending a sentence with one space is required, search and replace is indispensable. Of course, it doesnít work so easily in reverse. That is, you have to be more careful when trying to replace one space with two. (Look out for things like Mr. and Mrs. and Dr.) I donít know who is requiring one space. Maybe some publishers or teachers.

There was one teacher at my school who taught three spaces after the period, but only on the IBM Executive Typewriter Ė the prince of modern proportional spacing and a real monster to master.

EDIT: The link was posted on a links blog which I now cannot recall. Sorry.

Posted by Marie at March 21, 2004 10:58 PM


Years ago a technical editor where I work told me that there should never be two spaces at the end of a sentence when using proportional fonts. The 2-space rule only applies to fixed-point fonts (like on a typewriter). So that's what I do. Books seem to follow my editor's rule.

Posted by: Kem White at March 22, 2004 4:53 PM