Two Space Or Not Two Space?
These days, there exists a debate of one space vs. two spaces at the end of a sentence. In addition to countless news articles, the spacing controversy even has its own Wikipedia page as well as many Yahoo answers questions. As all of us type reports and other documents on a daily basis – on our computers – it is something to take notice of.
While most people favor the one-space method, for as long as I can remember, I have typed two spaces after a sentence in all my writing; middle school book reports, high school essays, senior English class project, college admission essay, college papers, press releases, e-mails and more. I’ve even done it here, if you have not already noticed, because that’s how I was taught.
I feel that two spaces makes it easier to distinguish one sentence from the other. Apparently, that way of thinking began during the days of typewriters. Typewriters only had one font (if you can imagine that) and the two-space rule was born to give eyes a break between sentences.
But back to the space debate in the news. As a two spacer, a recent article showed up in my Ragan.com daily newsletter. The writer states that the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style both specify a single space after a period. Oh no! Some searching revealed that APA style suggests two spaces to increase readability. Whew.
Even though the MLA Handbook recommends one space they state that, “there is nothing wrong with using two spaces after concluding punctuation marks unless an instructor or editor requests that you do otherwise.” (www.mlahandbook.org) Also, take note of Word spell-check the next time you accidentally type two spaces between words in a sentence; it underlines it as something that needs to be corrected. When you type two spaces after a sentence, it is not underlined. Three spaces – underlined. But not two.
They say habits are hard to break, so that combined with the fact that there my research shows typing two spaces after a period is still acceptable, that’s what I’ll keep doing!
~ Courtney Manders, Account Executive and 2-Spacer, The S3 Agency