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Have I really been wrong for over 25 years?

January 18, 2011

Yes. Apparently, I have been putting two spaces after every period for as long as I can remember typing. That’s what Mrs. Robinson told us to do in her authoritarian Southern accent. “Period. Space. Space.” See? I’m still doing it but, according to the blog post below, I am wrong.

The retraining of my typing thumb is going to be painful. The backspace key is going to get a lot of use. I also just remembered that I am going to have to apologize to my daughter for correcting her error which was not an error. More pain.

How Many Spaces Should You Put After a Period? I know you have all lost many hours of sleep over this question, so I'm here to relieve your stress. For a journal editor, few tasks are more tedious than going through a document and fixing all the incorrect spacing at the ends of sentences, so please, if you ever decide to send me anything, read this article first. The correct number of spaces after a period is one! Always! Why were you taught to put two spaces after a period when you were a ki … Read More

via The Western Tradition

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 9:06 am


    Why does Microsoft’s grammar nazi not catch it when you’re typing letters and such?

    Apparently this editor has never heard of a little function called “find/replace” where you can “find” 2 spaces and “replace” it with one.

  2. January 19, 2011 11:09 am

    I took a writing and editing course last year and that was one of the first lessons. The default for style is always readability, that as long as the material is understandible, it’s kosher.

    For than once, I’ve edited long technical documents where one of the reviewers (a lawyer, natch) spent many hours inserting an extra space in a number of sentences.

    Doing a find/replace command on such a document has its risks, however, especially when dealing with tables and other formatting that had been inserted by multiple contributors. Who knows how they wrote or formatted their texts? In this case, it’s often easier just going line by line while proofreading the document to find them than trying to track down instances where the double space was inserted for other reasons.

  3. January 19, 2011 11:10 am

    Speaking of editing, please find/replace “For” with “More” at the beginning of the second paragraph.

  4. Connie permalink
    January 19, 2011 8:05 pm

    What generation decided that it was wrong to put in two spaces after a sentence? It sure wasn’t mine. I copy & paste a lot of genealogy information into a text file every night. As I read through the material I “insert” the extra space that is missing thus making the material much easier to read. Everything seems to blur together without that extra space to denote a new sentence. To me and my generation it only makes sense.


    One of the Baby Boomer Generation

  5. Connie permalink
    January 19, 2011 8:09 pm

    I noticed that my previous post, which was typed with 2 spaces between sentences, was magically transformed into a post with only 1 space between sentences. The magic of programming a website to conform to society’s wishes and not the wishes of the person writing the reply.

  6. Michele permalink*
    January 19, 2011 11:40 pm

    I never noticed that WordPress eliminated the double space!

    I’ll probably still type two spaces after a period but I’ll stop correcting people who don’t.

  7. January 22, 2011 7:31 am

    It also depends on the font you are using. If you are using Courier or Courier New you are still supposed to double space after a period. If you work for the US government you are required to put two spaces after a period in all official documents. The whole thing is a joke though. It is easier to only do one and stick with it so if you have to do it for work all the time it is easier to do it all the time rather than switch up depending on the situation. It all really comes down to it all being a “problem” or “wrong” only to people who have way too much time on their hands and decided on the most pointless crusade on the planet.

    Also double spacing makes things easier to read so we need to get rid of single spacing.

    And let the pointless flame war begin…

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