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How many spaces after a punctuation mark?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by what, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. #1
    Exactly how many spaces should there be after a punctuation mark?

    Personally, I only allocate one space after a period but I often see a lot of articles out there that place two :confused:
     
    what, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  2. isaa

    isaa Active Member

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    #2
    Hi what,

    I tend to place one space after a mark. That's what I was taught in school, anyway. :)

    take care...

    .
     
    isaa, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  3. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #3
    In my high school typing class, I was taught to use two spaces after periods and colons. One space in other places.
     
    latoya, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  4. chillingbreeze

    chillingbreeze Well-Known Member

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    #4
    chillingbreeze, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  5. BeyondThePen

    BeyondThePen Peon

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    #5
    chillingbreeze -
    Thanks for posting that link! The comments were actually more interesting than the post itself. The debate was amusing. I have to agree that 2 spaces is "old school." This topic actually came up recently as my husband typed up a post for his golf blog and he used two spaces. I asked him kindly to use one space from now on as two spaces...especially with web writing...is antiquated. We has a mini-debate and I won. But then, I'm the writer in the family. LOL
     
    BeyondThePen, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  6. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Two spaces shows a complete lack of respect for the reader and the space the writing occupies.

    It has nothing to do with web or not. Sure, if you took a typing class in the 1950s, perhaps they would do it this way. They'd also say that women could only be secretaries in the world.

    Time to move on . . .

    :)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  7. Trusted Writer

    Trusted Writer Banned

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    #7
    Not sure about time but probably the person who taught or what the school curriculum could be, old fashioned?

    In my typing class more than one space was considered a typo, hence another practice hour to achieve digiting accuracy :rolleyes:
     
    Trusted Writer, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  8. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #8
    Or 2000. :)
     
    latoya, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  9. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #9
    That's sad.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  10. wordscientist

    wordscientist Peon

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    #10
    I thought it had something to do with the typeface. Back in the day (a day I know well, lol), the typeface on typewriters didn't properly adjust for more space after punctuation. But now the typefaces used today will automatically adjust the space width after punctuation.

    My high school typing teacher taught us to always double space after sentences. I've since tossed that advice out the window, thanks to the nifty invention of the personal computer. ;) My husband, on the other hand, still insists on double spacing. When will he ever learn? :rolleyes:
     
    wordscientist, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  11. Trusted Writer

    Trusted Writer Banned

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    #11
    Your observation makes sense to me wordscientist.

    A few months ago I was planning to run a publishing service at home and my sister-in-law took me to the editorial office she worked for, where I was told about IBM composer machines and how they contributed with page proof.

    I don't remember the technical name of the chart, but each machine (now in exhibit) had a printed guideline with symbols used in proofing to correct those typeface mismatches :rolleyes:
     
    Trusted Writer, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  12. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #12
    They taught us two back in school as well, but I always use one. Now when I see something using two I have to go in and correct it before I can actually read it. lol
     
    jhmattern, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  13. what

    what Active Member

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    #13
    Ditto! I also had a typing class in school but we were only told to allot one space after every punctuation mark. It doesn't matter whether it's a colon or a period...just one space. That's it.

    I also personally feel uncomfortable when I read articles that have two spaces after the punctuation mark. It just doesn't "feel" right.
     
    what, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  14. random.1324

    random.1324 Peon

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    #14
    Well in the Microsoft Word it normally makes me put a space after a punctuation mark. So I'm guessing you have to put one space after it and continue. And now I'm use to it, lol.
     
    random.1324, Aug 3, 2008 IP
  15. bobbyt

    bobbyt Active Member

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    #15
    I always use one, I think it's a matter of your own preference and I believe one space to be the norm nowadays. I imagine elementary school teacher would say, "Leave SOME space after period."
     
    bobbyt, Aug 4, 2008 IP
  16. bon300187

    bon300187 Peon

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    #16
    This is an interesting topic, I was always taught by my school (UK if anyone's interested) that you leave one space after punctuation aside from a '.' which you use two spaces.

    I do this automatically now and I think it would be hard for me to change to using just one space. My first sentence using one space <--- :D
     
    bon300187, Aug 4, 2008 IP
  17. digimac

    digimac Peon

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    #17
    this should have been a poll ;) I was taught one but i get 'spacebar' happy and do 2 by accident most of the time - bad habbit i have gotten into over the years.
     
    digimac, Aug 4, 2008 IP
  18. peejaydee

    peejaydee Peon

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    #18
    It's a matter of personal preference. Different people have been taught different ways for a reason: there's no right or wrong way.
    Much of what I write is read as hard copy, so I prefer one space after a colon or semi colon, comma etc, but two spaces at the start of a new sentence within a paragraph. I don't indent the first line of new paragraphs either though which will also make the blood boil for many of you now doubt.

    I believe this improves readability when printed (and on screen IMHO) - some of you won't though. The best thing to do is to have your own style (and/or style guide) and stick to it. 'Accepted' style is only important if you are delivering to a customer who has a stated preference. Otherwise it's up to you. All of the style guides out there are just that - guides.
     
    peejaydee, Aug 5, 2008 IP
  19. jilaba

    jilaba Guest

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    #19
    After comma, colan, semicolan single space. After fullstop 2 spaces i was taught.
     
    jilaba, Aug 5, 2008 IP
  20. @phang

    @phang Active Member

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    #20
    I got taught to use two after a fullstop but I can't STAND it and if I see writing with that feature I go through and delete all the extra spaces :)
     
    @phang, Aug 5, 2008 IP