kitchen table math, the sequel: 1 space after periods, not 2

Friday, December 26, 2014

1 space after periods, not 2

I've taken to reading legal writing blogs, mostly because Katie Beals & I are getting toward the end of our writing exercises for Ed's textbook, and I keep worrying we're shaky on topic chains (or topic strings).

Idealawg has a fabulous interview with George Gopen. Well worth your time.

It also has this.


TerriW said...

It's not too terribly often that I disagree with the KTM conventional wisdom, but if you are truly advocating one space instead of two, it is here I must draw the line.

Anonymous said...

Two spaces after sentence-ending periods is an old typescript convention. Typesetters converted them to sentence-ending spaces which are slightly thicker and stretchier than word-separating spaces. Unfortunately, most modern typesetting and word-processing programs are written by people who have no clue about typesetting, and so don't include the notion of differentiating between sentence-ending and word-separating spaces. If you are forced to use one of these incompetent programs, then one space is a better choice than two.

(The program TeX and its descendent LaTeX do understand sentence-ending spaces, and it doesn't matter whether you type one space or two, since it choose the appropriate spacing independent of how many you type.)

Anonymous said...

My typing teacher pounded the two spaces into us back in high school. I'm afraid I'm unable to change at this point. My thumb just automatically does it.


Catherine Johnson said...

Two spaces in typing; 1 space for keyboards!

Doug Sundseth said...

Ooh, religious argument!

Shall we do the "soccer" vs. "football" one next?


The real answer is that it's a house style issue. And if you're using Framemaker, you can set it to automatically ignore a second space after a period if you automatically type that way (as I did for a long time).

Anonymous said...

Doug: Shall we do the "soccer" vs. "football" one next?

No need :-)

Just use the terms "metric football" and "American football" and everything works out dandy!

-Mark Roulo

Doug Sundseth said...

I just use "Association Football" which is both technically correct and annoys a certain type* of soccer fan to no end.

The type I prefer to annoy, frankly. 8-)