This week, we’re weighing in on one of the great debates of our grammatical lifetimes: do you use a single space or a double space after the period (or other punctuation) at the end of a sentence?
Fortunately, the answer is simple. Single space, dear readers. One. Space. Only. There’s absolutely zero need for double spaces anymore.
Did that come through clearly enough? Great. Now here’s why.
Using double spaces after a sentence was originally used to improve readability, particularly when typing on a typewriter. Typewriters use a monospaced font — meaning each character has the same width. So the extra spaces were useful — they helped clearly separate sentences from each other.
Nowadays, our computers use proportional fonts (fonts in which characters have different widths) — and that makes it easier to see where one sentence ends and the next one begins.
So. Why. Write. Like. This?
When. You. Can. Write. Like. This!
If that’s not convincing enough, the industry standard is to use a single space after a sentence. Happy single spacing!
The bottom line: Double spaces after a period = too much space between sentences.
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