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One Space Rule

July 8, 2010

I learned in grade school as many have to place two spaces between sentences and it has since been changed to one. This isn’t a huge issue. It’s all about forming a new habit of hitting that space bar once instead of twice. However, I did wonder why the modification was made in the first place. After a bit of research, this is what I discovered:

The original rule was developed during the times of the typewriter. Word processing programs generally use proportionally spaced fonts meaning an “i” takes up the same amount of space as “m”. Typewriters, on the other hand, used non-proportional fonts. So, there was a need for the extra space to help our minds separate the sentences. Basically, since we don’t use typewriters much anymore, there’s no need for the extra space.

Another reason is that some people, including publishers, like to justify text which means Microsoft Word will put little spaces between the words to stretch out the text so that the right-hand margin is straight. including your “extra” spaces. The result can look very ugly. If you have extra spaces in the middle of sentences, Word stretches the text in each line, including your “extra” spaces. The result can look very ugly.

The Bottomline: Save the double spaces for typewriting or personal correspondence. Otherwise, adopt the one space rule in your everyday writing life if you haven’t already.

Andrea didn’t have a problem adapting to the new rule. Not sure why anyone would.
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13 Comments
  1. allena permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:20 am

    I will tell you from an editor’s POV that the whole two spaces thing IS difficult for some writers. Please, all writers, let’s come into the next century and stop with the double space stuff. I simply don’t have time and don’t know of one publication that accepts it.

    I will tell you from the POV a someone with a site that gets 100K hits a month to just ignore the trolls. Don’t bother, just delete and block. That’s it. No answer, no hesitating, just delete and block. At About.com we have a funny little thing that blocks their junk from everyone else, but to them it still looks like they are getting through. It’s actually very funny. They exhaust themselves wondering why no one is getting riled up.

  2. July 8, 2010 10:39 am

    At About.com we have a funny little thing that blocks their junk from everyone else, but to them it still looks like they are getting through. It’s actually very funny. They exhaust themselves wondering why no one is getting riled up.

    That is totally and completely awesome!

    And so effective. Take away their audience and what do they have?

    —————

    Exactly.

  3. July 8, 2010 2:16 pm

    Censorship, the fact that you choose to remain anonymous shows a lack of respect for the writers and readers of this site. Moreover, your hubristic belief that I was somehow ignorant of the IP address you share with a regular user of this site shows a lack of respect not only for me, but that writer too. Given the nature of that IP address being fixed, you are either the partner or child of that person, so the lack of respect you are showing them is frankly disgusting.

    Truth be told, since you first started your little hate campaign, I’ve known which writer you shared the IP address with, and since I’ve known him for a while as a commenter on here, and worked with him on my own project, I was fervently hoping it wasn’t him responsible. Thanks at least for doing me the service of confirming that he is innocent in this, and that you are simply logging on from the same address.

    I won’t embarrass him or you by publicly naming you, but any commenters to this site who get their broadband through Orange/Wanadoo should be asking questions of their nearest and dearest.

    And I’ll quite happily find him a backdoor if I have to impose an IP address ban.

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