Spaced Out

What can I say? I’m just a two-space guy, I guess. My recent editing work, though, has gotten me into a new habit. I’m not sure yet if I like it or not.

As SAGLRROILYBYGTH are aware, I’m putting the finishing touches these days on my new book manuscript. That means polishing, editing, talking to other nerds, and revising, revising, revising. Among my editorial tasks has been an odd-feeling switch at the end of every sentence. Instead of following every sentence with two spaces—the way God intended—I’ve been following the stylebook and changing it to only one.

In recent days, I’ve tried it out in these pages, too. Do you like it?

I know, I know, it’s a lot to take in all at once. For me, there’s something pleasant about the one-space approach. Sentences seem huddled comfortably together; punctuation marks and capital letters don’t feel so starkly divided.

Just like every issue in these pages, I’m sure this question will raise hackles on both sides. Are there any other two-space dinosaurs left out there? Or has all of America made the switch?

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  1. Agellius

     /  April 4, 2017

    I made the switch on my blog within the last couple of years, because I noticed that when I used two spaces it would mess up the margins. The blogging software doesn’t compensate for the extra space the way Microsoft Word does. So now it’s become a habit in my typing generally. I didn’t know it was in any stylebook.

  2. I’m still a two-space person.

    If a monospace font is used (i.e. a typewriter-like font), then the two spaces still looks better. If a different font is used, then in my opinion it is up to the software to set the spacing appropriately.

    I am currently looking at your post in two browsers — “firefox” and “vivaldi”. As far as I know, “vivaldi” uses the same rendering engine as “Chrome”.

    The spacing in your post looks better in “firefox” than in “vivaldi”. And the most obvious difference is that there is a little more space separating sentences in “firefox”.

    I don’t currently have an obvious way of testing it. In the past, it has seemed to me that using 2 spaces rather than one makes no difference with “firefox”, but does make a difference with browsers based on the “Chrome” rendering engine.

  3. Katherine Siewert

     /  April 4, 2017

    I love the Oxford comma. I love the 2 spaces. I’m old enough to respect my own preferences, period.


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