One Or Two Spaces After A Sentence

I have made a decision. It is one that has taken years to make. I have been putting it off for quite a while now. I am making a change. I am going to start putting just one space after a period. There, I said it. Now I just have to start doing it.

I have come to terms with the fact that with today’s computer fonts, there is no need for a second space after a period. It is superfluous. The text does not show up like it did on old typewriters. Two spaces were needed with mono-spaced fonts because there was more whitespace between some of the characters. Two spaces stood out better, making the text more readable. Most modern fonts are proportional and not mono-spaced, so adding an extra space does not make the text more readable.

My problem with changing to using just one space is that two spaces has been ingrained in me. The act of typing a period after a sentence just includes the two spaces. I hear them every time I finish a sentence. Did you hear that? I did it again, though now it is followed by a backspace key.

When I was a freshman in high school, we were required to take Keyboarding I if we were to take any computer classes. I hated it then because our teacher was extremely strict. In order to pass tests, we had to type at a certain speed with less than three errors, all the while looking at the reference to our right and never looking at the keys. I managed to get up to 30 words per minute with no errors by the end of the semester. I am very thankful that I was forced to take this class. I am now up to 75 words per minute at a relaxed pace even with having to delete all of my extra spaces as I go. Also, since I cannot open my eyes right now, it really helps that I can type without looking at the keys.

It was during this class that the two space rule was imprinted upon my soul. One space after a sentence was considered an error. Our small tests were about a paragraph long, which could cause four or five errors just on those spaces alone. The longer tests had even more. I quickly learned that the spaces were easy to get right, leaving me a little more breathing room with the actual text.

The sound of ending a sentence includes the space bar being hit twice. I am working on changing, but it is not happening very quickly. I have, however, changed the sound of ending of a sentence to the space bar being hit twice and the backspace button being hit once.

I will continue working on this until I no longer type two spaces after a period. Until then, I will do a search and replace to change all “.  ” with “. ” when I finish a post.


About DJ

My name is DJ, and I am starting my third career. My first was a ten year career in theatre, where I worked with some big names and in four states. My second career was working on computers, fixing them and programming them. Now I am starting a career as a writer.
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One Response to One Or Two Spaces After A Sentence

  1. macfool says:

    As a typesetter, double spaces are a bug bear, to be searched and replaced as a matter of course. Welcome to the light side.


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