HOW MANY $@#!@ SPACES DO YOU ADD AFTER A PERIOD?

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Thread: HOW MANY $@#!@ SPACES DO YOU ADD AFTER A PERIOD?

  1. #1

    HOW MANY $@#!@ SPACES DO YOU ADD AFTER A PERIOD?

    Heh, did the caps get your attention?
    Betcha thought your grandpa was posting on the forum, eh?


    Okay, here is the deal; I am having a twitter debate with another writer who insists that there is no longer a need to double-space after the . ! ?
    Here is a link to an article he cited.
    https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/ed...after-a-period


    Okay, I am old school on this. I still use 2 spaces because I prefer the way it looks, both in print and digital.
    I want the big space between sentences so the reader's brain resets. It feels cluttered to me with only 1 space.


    What say you, fellow authors? How many of you still use 2 spaces?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Heh, did the caps get your attention?
    Betcha thought your grandpa was posting on the forum, eh?


    Okay, here is the deal; I am having a twitter debate with another writer who insists that there is no longer a need to double-space after the . ! ?
    Here is a link to an article he cited.
    https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/ed...after-a-period


    Okay, I am old school on this. I still use 2 spaces because I prefer the way it looks, both in print and digital.
    I want the big space between sentences so the reader's brain resets. It feels cluttered to me with only 1 space.


    What say you, fellow authors? How many of you still use 2 spaces?
    Ironically enough, this post of yours appears as single spaced. Haven't checked your others but it got me wondering - so do you tend toward a single space on forum posting and double space on 'real writing'? How does your brain work with that differentiation?

    Anyhow, to answer your question: Coming of age in the early-ish nineties, I remember first learning to type on a typewriter but then switching to a computer by the time I was old enough to actually type in quantity. Subsequently I do vaguely remember being told 'two spaces after a period' like I remember how to change a ribbon...but, fortunately or unfortunately , by the time I actually started writing full-time the habit or any opinion on the habit had not formed, so I was able to dispense with it as soon as I realized nobody else was doing it that way. My handwriting is a weird mix of cursive and print, too. Generational quirks, I guess. I have not seen anybody under forty-five or so who double-spaces following a period.

    I have been submitting to publications like crazy lately and have seen all kinds of MS requirements and a lot of super pedantic formatting right down to width of margins, but nowhere have I seen any stipulations regarding spacing following periods. I'd assume most sensible publishers recognize there is no established 'right' way and that the double-space is non-offensive and largely vanishing organically as the writers who learned that way age out.

    That's my .02 anyway.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  3. #3
    I always single spaced. I have never heard of the double space convention before, probably a measure of my ignorance. On the other hand I bet nobody would notice/comment on, double spacing.
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  4. #4
    I am old enough to know about the double spacing convention as taught on typing courses when typewriters were used and produced fixed pitch text. Modern proportional fonts allegedly don't need it so much though. Nevertheless I agree that it does give the reader a clear signal to take a break from parsing the text, especially with the long sentences that I tend to write. Hence I double space in emails because I want the busy reader to get a clear message but don't do it in WF posts because someone is bound to grumble if I do and anyway members are expected to be astute readers who pay careful attention to what is written. In works for publication the spaces will probably be adjusted by the publisher to match the house style anyway, so one is sufficient and advised.

    Just out of curiosity I have repeated the above paragraph using a fixed pitch font below. If anything the single spaces look clearer than when using a proportional font, which may explain why I still double space when using a proportional font and not expecting (hyper)critical readers. As ever the watchword is to bear in mind your target readers when making decisions.

    I am old enough to know about the double spacing convention as taught on typing courses when typewriters were used and produced fixed pitch text. Modern proportional fonts allegedly don't need it so much though. Nevertheless I agree that it does give the reader a clear signal to take a break from parsing the text, especially with the long sentences that I tend to write. Hence I double space in emails because I want the busy reader to get a clear message but don't do it in WF posts because someone is bound to grumble if I do and anyway members are expected to be astute readers who pay careful attention to what is written. In works for publication the spaces will probably be adjusted by the publisher to match the house style anyway, so one is sufficient and advised.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    I always single spaced. I have never heard of the double space convention before, probably a measure of my ignorance. On the other hand I bet nobody would notice/comment on, double spacing.

    Neither have I. Before I joined WF I had never even heard of it Where I live that is not in use.
    But once I did notice, I started to pay attention to it, and the number of people here using it is high. I must say that at first it annoyed me, because for a while the only thing I could do, was counting double spaces, completely forgetting what I was reading.
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  6. #6
    First i've ever heard of it. Won't be changing.

  7. #7
    Editors hate double spacing. In most software environments, you have to fix it by hand.
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  8. #8
    Back when I learned typing, in the stone ages of 1972, we were taught to double space after a full stop. If I remember correctly it had something to do with manual typesetting. I continued the habit up until 5 or 6 years ago when I read that type-setters in the digital age do indeed hate it. You can still find plenty of articles on the interwebs which recommend it, but major style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style, the US Government Printing Office Manual of Style, and the AP Stylebook suggest a single space.

    Will adding that extra space destroy your chances of being accepted? Of course not (unless the market specifically states a preference in their guidelines), it's just one of the little things that add to the overall appearance of professionalism.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Ironically enough, this post of yours appears as single spaced. Haven't checked your others but it got me wondering - so do you tend toward a single space on forum posting and double space on 'real writing'? How does your brain work with that differentiation?
    When I am writing for digital media I single-space. This is twitter's fault with their character limitation. On Twitter you need every space.
    But when I am in manuscript-mode, I double-space.
    In forums sometimes I do both.




    Funny thing about those responses, they sorta tell me how old each of you are.
    1972 Terry? Wow.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Funny thing about those responses, they sorta tell me how old each of you are.
    1972 Terry? Wow.
    Yeah. Old fart. The only good thing about it is I'm too old now to die young.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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