One or two?

I was already to wade in on the great debate about one or two spaces after a period. I am a confirmed one spacer and I just don’t understand people who use two. I missed the great debate on ‘Q’ and was excited about listening to it today while I geeked out with my new Neat Desk Scanner for the Mac. Honestly, I found the debate to be too full of testosterone for my liking. Seriously, it was  three pompous asses, Jian Ghomeshi included, talking louder and louder.

I can remember learning to type on a typewriter. I was taught to put two spaces after a period. Interestingly, I failed Typing 10. Once I got onto a computer keyboard, I learned to type properly. On a good day, I type about 80 wpm. I was a committed two spacer when I went to university. Part way through my first degree, I was shown the light about spaces after a period. I was so used to putting two spaces after a period that I would have to use search and replace to make sure there was only one space. Eventually, I stopped using two spaces altogether.

I was actually surprised to hear that this debate was raging anew. I have not really noticed a lot of two spacers recently. Although, if someone uses two spaces, I actually feel like it is harder to read. It really seems like there is something wrong when I see two spaces.

As I listened to all of their reasons, which ranged from the real (we no longer use monospaced fonts and typographers say so) to the ridiculous (it saves trees), I couldn’t help but think they missed real reason why one space is right. That reason? Apple says so. If you type two spaces on an iPhone or iPad, a period and one space appear. So the argument has been solved – let the one spacers reign supreme!

So? Are you a one spacer or a two spacer? Why?

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Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sadly, I’m a two spacer. But not because I think it’s better- it’s just a reflexive habit at this point and it would take some conscious work for me to change! Maybe I can start working on it. See – there – I only left one space on those last two sentences!

  2. I think I’m pretty well converted to one space now, but I learned to type on a typewriter, and two spaces was the way I learned. It still makes sense for fixed-width fonts like Courier, because it makes it easier to see where sentences start and end, but it doesn’t make sense for proportional fonts. But I one-space all the time now.

  3. One. Always one:

    http://www.penmachine.com/2011/01/stop-typing-2-spaces-after-period

    I never took typing classes, which would have been the only thing that might have prompted me to try two. I was mystified when I learned they taught that. After all, I’d learned by typing things the way they appear in books, magazines, and newspapers, which is always with a single space.


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