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BULLETIN

A fast-growing newspaper curated by the online community.

The Two-Space Typography Argument

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  • Tip Bones

I've had all of my major school years in the computer age, and I was never taught to use a typewriter properly. As such, it's always struck me as odd that there's a lot of disagreement in the writing community about whether it's proper, or even necessary, to add two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence.

When I learned to type, I was never taught that I needed more than one space. Yet now, as an adult, I hear it constantly from friends, family, and even a few of my readers. But what's the point? Where does this idea come from? As it turns out, the tradition of double spacing comes from the typewriter era of writing. Typewriters used what's called 'monospace font,'which allowed characters to occupy the same amount of space on the line. It worked fine most of the time, but some characters looked different because they don't actually need that much room, like "i," "l," and "1." Therefore, the spacing between words looked inconsistent, and sentences could be hard to separate visually. So, we solved the problem by adding an extra space manually.

However, since the dawn of word processing and proportional fonts, this extra step is no longer necessary. I don't know about you, but I'm a one-space gal!


Photo: Pixabay

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