At the end of your sentences, do you hit the space bar once or twice? A debate is raging about this. (Type something now to see what you’re in the habit of doing.)
Which is correct?
You should use a single space after a period, question mark or exclamation mark.
“Sacrilege! I was taught to use two spaces!”
Did you learn to type on a typewriter? If so, you may have been told to insert two spaces at the end of sentences to ensure enough space.
Most typewriters had non-proportional (“monospace”) fonts. With these, thin letters, like “i”, took up the same space as fat ones, such as “m”, as you can see with this Courier font:
However, computers now use “proportional” fonts. With these, space for thin letters is slim, compared to space for fat ones, as you can see with this Times font:
Why should you care?
With proportional fonts, the computer adds just the right amount of space after each sentence. Double spacing adds distracting gaps that make your writing look choppy and unprofessional.
Mainstream publishing has used one space between sentences for decades. It’s also backed by the Australian Government Style Manual, the MLA, APA, and The Chicago Manual of Style. I say go with the experts.
Using double spacing is like using Liquid Paper on your screen to correct errors. Times have changed! (Still don’t believe me?).
Have your say…
…below! Are you a “space” cadet? Do you disagree with the above? Go on – make your mark!