One Space After a Period, Please

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Forget what you learned in high school English. Times have changed. Rules are different. There is only one space between a period and the beginning of a new sentence.

If you’re guilty, no big deal, but it saves copy editors tons of time deleting spaces after every sentence. And time is money. Many of our clients swear by the double-space rule, and really, if their livelihoods don’t depend on it, who am I to judge? But the fact remains. It really is only one space.

The Proof:

Exhibit A: Associated Press Stylebook, which hardcore journalists and copy editors live by, is as direct as possible: “Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.”

Exhibit B: Grammar Girl, an electronic, all-knowing woman of punctuation and word choices, says one space after a period. “I know it’s a hard habit to break if you were trained to use two spaces, but if you can, give one space a try.”

Exhibit C: From Wikipedia: “Double spacing stems from the use of the mono-spaced font on typewriters. If the ribbon were too dry the visibility of the period would be reduced significantly. Adding two spaces after the period ensured that the reader would know where the end of the sentence was if the period didn’t strike properly. This historical convention was carried on by tradition until it was replaced by the single space convention in published print and digital media today.”

Wow, I just realized I called some of you old, especially if you wrote college term papers on a typewriter with correction tape. You’re also set it your ways, I imagine. But this is the new rule. Embrace it. It is what its is.

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