Why I’m a one-space-after-a-period guy

I found this argument in favor of two spaces after a period. I favor the single space, but not for any of the reasons he explained.

I’m also not a graphic designer. I had to take a couple of classes on design and layout, and I was competent. But mostly efficient. I was known for being the first one in the room to finish a design, and it would always be at least middle-of-the-pack. On a tight deadline, I was the guy you wanted finessing QuarkXPress.

You see, I’m also a full-justification guy. And if you put a single space in front of a period, then the typography engine can put more space after a period if it needs. I suppose an intelligent engine could remove the double space if it needed to gain a half space, to get a better fit, but not all of the engines will. I find I get better results if I put a single space in and let the computer do the work.

So, if you’re wondering, that job I had where I had to put two spaces after everything because of tradition, and for no other reason… Yeah, that bugged me. I always did a find and replace just before submitting the document.

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3 thoughts on “Why I’m a one-space-after-a-period guy

  • September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I took 2 years of touch-typing in high school. Two spaces after a period was the norm and resulted in a demerit if you only used one. I was told it was done to separate sentences so the paragraph was more readable. Whether it does that or not is certainly open to debate, but when typing anything to this day I always use two spaces. Old traditions die hard, you know.

  • September 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Contemporary use seems to have evolved as web writing has spread. Two spaces are not as ‘needed’ to delineate the new sentence as in printed matter; the period-space-capital meta appears to work as well on screen (to include email).

    Yes, from an old-schooler who learned the mandatory rule to double space and has had to relearn it for screen communications.

    Next topic: The Oxford Comma…

  • September 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I was discussing the Oxford Comma with an English Professor from Mizzou just yesterday. REALLY!

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