How many spaces after a period?

  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Aug 25, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    I'm ready to start grad school, and since I haven't written formal papers in about two years, I was wondering how many spaces I should have after a period? I was taught two spaces for the first 20 years of my life, but I think my final year of undergrad people were starting to only use one period.
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    Aug 25, 2011 8:45 PM GMT
    Two came from the days of typewriters. One is becoming more common today probably because most browsers only allow one, even if you put in two spaces, unless you take specific steps to avoid that happening. Since it is through a browser that we do so much typing, that is what we have become used to. Also with electronic type setting, programs will often automatically determine the size of spaces between words and sentences to allow as many words on a line as possible and keep the line lengths as close to the same as possible.
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    Aug 25, 2011 10:47 PM GMT
    one.
  • cookingitswee...

    Posts: 445

    Aug 25, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    Only use one.
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    Aug 25, 2011 11:05 PM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidI'm ready to start grad school, and since I haven't written formal papers in about two years, I was wondering how many spaces I should have after a period? I was taught two spaces for the first 20 years of my life, but I think my final year of undergrad people were starting to only use one period.
    Only one space after the period is the current norm; but you should have used a semicolon before but because it's a separate statement that requires less of a pause than a period when speaking it.

    Oh, and avoid runon sentences. And avoid starting sentences with and or but. But those rules don't apply to me. And contractions are not proper for formal writing.
  • Trauts

    Posts: 1012

    Aug 26, 2011 12:02 AM GMT
    Every 28 days
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    I have been told by several professors...be consistent. IF you're going to use one space always use one. Same goes for two..
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:06 AM GMT
    If it's 1954, use 2 spaces. If you're going to be typing without your time machine, use 1.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:09 AM GMT
    I have always used one space and that is how my teachers taught me.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidIf it's 1954, use 2 spaces. If you're going to be typing without your time machine, use 1.


    That is so hilarious.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Aug 26, 2011 12:11 AM GMT
    I had completely forgotten the 2 space thing. I haven't suffered from doing so. Or have I? Which turn of fate did one of those missed spaces lead me to be here instead of somewhere else?
  • DrewbieDoo

    Posts: 63

    Aug 26, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    Im classic... two
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:15 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidYeah, I can't seem to break myself of the double space after periods and semicolons; but, as Rob says, it's a moot point nowadays.


    Actually, a semicolon (;) takes one; a colon (: ) takes two. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidI'm ready to start grad school, and since I haven't written formal papers in about two years, I was wondering how many spaces I should have after a period? I was taught two spaces for the first 20 years of my life, but I think my final year of undergrad people were starting to only use one period.



    2
  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    Aug 26, 2011 12:37 AM GMT
    One. I'm a magazine editor. Trust me. icon_biggrin.gif

    (Two spaces is very 1985!)
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:40 AM GMT
    DrewbieDoo saidIm classic... two


    Same here. Had to take a Typing Class in the eight grade at my prep school.....so old habits die hard.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:42 AM GMT
    I have never been taught to use two spaces. But then again I've never even seen a typewriter...(sorry if I'm making people feel old)
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:45 AM GMT
    Only use one space. From what I've heard, word processors make the space after the period larger than a regular space to account for this.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    Defenseon saidI have been told by several professors...be consistent. IF you're going to use one space always use one. Same goes for two..


    This is your best bet. I know I was taught two spaces, however I know I've talked to peers who only use one. Maybe it's a regional thing?
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    swmrh911 saidI have never been taught to use two spaces. But then again I've never even seen a typewriter...(sorry if I'm making people feel old)


    Funny, and I believe him!

    When I write on my cell phone I use one space since its' software presents a capital letter one space after a period. Otherwise I use two spaces as I was taught by the very strict and mean seventh grade typing teacher.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:53 AM GMT
    paulflexesOnly one space after the period is the current norm; but you should have used a semicolon before but because it's a separate statement that requires less of a pause than a period when speaking it.


    Eh? That's not why you use semicolons. Actually, he can use the comma there if he really prefers but it's not at all required.

    A semicolon's purpose is to link two independent clauses without using any words to join the two. It has nothing to do with pauses when reading. (The other use is for when you have joining words like however, therefore, etc...)

    For example:

    I walked my dog today; he sometimes chases after rabbits.

    vs

    I walked my dog today even though he sometimes chases after rabbits.

    vs

    I walked my dog today;however, this time he didn't get to chase any rabbits.

    Sorry, my grammar nazi is showing icon_razz.gif.

    Oh and for the OP: like someone else said, two is a left-over from the typewriter days. Most word processors will now actually properly pad the space after a period so the second space is unnecessary. It's still accepted, but one is becoming the convention again.
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    Aug 26, 2011 12:54 AM GMT
    Two.
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    Aug 26, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    dat b00k lOok goOD yA HurD? i miT juzt bi It. h0Pe it gOt suM gOoD pItchas!
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    Aug 26, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    My iPhone automatically adds a period when I enter two spaces. So I'll stick with two.
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    Aug 26, 2011 1:47 AM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidI'm ready to start grad school, and since I haven't written formal papers in about two years, I was wondering how many spaces I should have after a period? I was taught two spaces for the first 20 years of my life, but I think my final year of undergrad people were starting to only use one period.


    Traditionally, it has always been two spaces...but with the advent of so much new technology, that might have gone by the wayside.
    BTW...didn't you mean "only use one" SPACE...not period