Monday, January 15, 2007

A Quick Question About Spacing

Here's a quick question, and I'm interested in the response? Is the second space after a period (and a colon, for that matter) obsolete?

I still use it in work documents, but only because of convention. I never use it in anything I blog or e-mail? So, is it fading out of existence, or have we created a modified set of punctuation rules for electronic compositions?

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Anonymous said...

I don't know about rules, but I stopped using the second space because it's a spell-check hassle. Html only reads it as one space, anyway.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that there are two spaces after a period and a colon. There is only one space after a colon. I have never put two spaces after a semi-colon, just a colon.

I think for readability, there should be two spaces after a period. I always do it; force of habit.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting blog:

It's called Grammar Girl, and she even does podcasts. There's a list of post categories a ways down her sidebar, if you're looking for something specific.

Anonymous said...

Matt, not to confuse the issue, but sometimes I think it matters what genre/area of life you are writing in--English/grammar folks might see it one way, as in using two spaces, but for example, in the law profession (where I live), some folks think one is enough.

Here's a lawyer, who happens to be a writer, who blogs on writing, and a link:

One space is enough

thelyamhound said...

I use two spaces after a period or colon, but I've found that when I'm writing articles and reviews for ALARM magazine, their policy is one space only. So I think that the two-space rule might be going the way of the dodo.

Anonymous said...

All the one-spacers are wrong.

Rabenstrange said...

When I took typing it was one space. As a result I have been a one spacer for my entire life. I just checked and books are one spaced, at least my Bible, textbooks, and a handful of others lying about my apartment.

Online content is also pretty much all one spaced.

Ann said...

Yes, the two spaces after the period are obsolete. They were only for typing with a typewriter because pixels were not as clearly spaced on the typewriter as they are on the computer. Trust me, this is the first thing they taught us in English Lit. Studies in College.

Gummby said...

ThirstyDavid: that was the other reason--HTML. The same reason I don't use tabs anymore--they never show up online.
Kim & Buggy: What are you guys, GrammarFundies?

Kelley: thanks. I'll have to check that out.

DanB: you may be onto something there. I thought the link was very interesting. How are things going, BTW?

Hound & Rabenstranger: Most everything in print (books and magazines) seems to have one space, and as David mentioned, online only lets you put one space. But we still use two in our reports. I can't help but think of all the wasted keystrokes in an 85 page report. Ugh!

Ann: Welcome! Glad to have you visit. I hope you don't mind my asking, but what brought you over here? I dropped in on your blog, and I'm pretty sure you didn't end up here the way most people do (either from knowing me personally or links from others).