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How Many Spaces Belong Between Sentences? One or Two?

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Every so often on social media I come across a raging debate about how many spaces belong between sentences, one or two? In school we were taught two. In college they teach one. Flaming wars ensue!

So which is it? The answer is both generational and technological.

Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks iPad Multi-Touch iBookIn the days when typewriters were monospace, two spaces were necessary to distinguish between sentences. So all of us who learned to type on IBM Selectrics (or Royals!) have built up the muscle memory to thump our thumbs twice.

When magazines and newspapers began typesetting using proportional fonts, they specifically started using one space to allow them to fit more text in a column.

Today, now that almost everyone uses a computer to compose, one space instead of two has become the norm. Even Chicago Style and APA approve!

If you just can’t break the habit yourself, you can still type in Microsoft Word with two spaces, then do a Find and Replace and replace <space space> with <space>.

Get over 200 Microsoft Word tips and tricks in my book.
Available in eBook, Kindle, iBook for iPad, and paperback editions.
Space out, Man!

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One Response to How Many Spaces Belong Between Sentences? One or Two?

  1. Walter April 24, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Two spaces gives a more pleasing appearance with extra white space and is easier to read, IMO.

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