Lately, my husband and I (as well as some of our friends) have been involved in a rousing debate…
One space after a full stop (period, question mark, exclamation point) or two spaces?
I (being the brighter spouse) argue that ONE space is correct. Mr. Old School, on the other hand, swears fervently that TWO spaces are proper. I’ve shown him the online arguments for one space (specifically this article, which states: Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.), as well as informed him of the history of typography and the typewriter and fonts, blah, blah, blah. Still, the man insists he’s correct. He’s even gone so far as to ask a (published) teaching professional who (astoundingly) sided (wrongly) with him!
Naturally, I took the issue to Twitter and, predictably, the writing community sided with me. Here are a few of the brilliant responses I received when I asked for opinions on The Great One Space/Two Spaces Debate:
Melissa Blanco - I’d say that teacher is old school. Although I do have to admit two spaces is how I was taught. I’m a one spacer now though.
Sarah Goldberg - Absolutely not correct! I think it was preferred on typewriters (one space can be hard to distinguish), but no longer… I teach college, too, if that helps.
Bailey Kelsey – It depends on the style being used. It’s not part of MLA and I’m pretty sure neither APA or Chicago either… One is definitely the norm. In my methodology course for English we were told two spaces was really, REALLY wrong now.
Tracey Neithercott – I say incorrect. Though I do remember being taught that in school. Maybe it’s preferred for academics?
Ashton E. Silver - It’s one space! Maybe the teaching professional has a stutter.
Kari Bradley - I’ve never heard a definitive rule. I know many editors change it to 1. I changed to 1 after being taught 2 back in the day.
Zanne - I say incorrect, at least for advertising and journalism. Maybe it’s different in school?
Erin Bowman - It’s correct if you’re using a typewriter. Otherwise, NO. Period, one space, uppercase. The end. The two space rule came from the monospacing of typewriters… how letters all had equal spacing (like the Courier font) and distinguishing between spaces was difficult because it all looked the same. But fancy computer fonts fix this!
Kris Asselin - I’ve made the switch. I now believe one space is correct. But it was within the last couple years. Was taught two spaces.
What do you think, trusted blog reader?
One space after a full stop, or two?