One space or two: after a colon. Or a period?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 28, 2011 5:46 AM GMT
    Now that uniform/non-proportional spacing has gone the way of the typewriter, does one "type" one space or two after a colon or a period?

    In "the good old days" when dinosaurs roamed the earth, you needed two spaces for the eye to communicate to the brain that this was a pause slightly longer than the pause between two words; that it was a pause between two phrases or even two entire sentences.
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    Sep 28, 2011 8:32 AM GMT
    One space.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 28, 2011 11:42 AM GMT
    Mmm...I was always taught two spaces after a period.icon_neutral.gif
    Just googled this and it says on a computer, just one space now.
  • tgrissom0312

    Posts: 91

    Sep 28, 2011 11:52 AM GMT
    Newspapers began using only 1 space after a period to save space. Also, they out the 3 comma in a list.

    Red, blue and green vs Red, blue, and green.
  • tgrissom0312

    Posts: 91

    Sep 28, 2011 11:53 AM GMT
    I'm also glad that this post is not about what I first expected when reading 'colon' and 'period'
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    Sep 28, 2011 12:43 PM GMT
    tgrissom0312 saidI'm also glad that this post is not about what I first expected when reading 'colon' and 'period'


    Glad I'm not the only one who thought the same thing.

    Using two spaces made it generally easier for people to read because before computers became ubiquitous, most people used typewriters. This isn't the case with computers, so the formatting standards have changed. I never use two spaces, including after a colon. I learned to use two spaces in elementary school, but in high school, I was told to start using one period. I also teach my students to use one space.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Sep 28, 2011 12:56 PM GMT
    Ugh, this again? Two spaces, and if you do one and if you use only one it usually is auto-corrected.
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    Sep 28, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    one space.
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    Sep 28, 2011 1:13 PM GMT
    I just consulted the MLA handbook here at work:
    one space.
  • dreamer121

    Posts: 265

    Sep 28, 2011 1:26 PM GMT
    One Space. It all has changed with word processors and digital presses.

    Back in the old days, with tabular lining presses, or machines like type writers... the two spaces let the eye breathe between the sentences.

    Now with digital / word processors, they kern (spacing between characters) proportionately. So MOST are recommending that it is only one space. Even though its difficult to defeat the old habits.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Sep 28, 2011 1:33 PM GMT
    It's been one space for quite some time, I believe. It's a mixture of English and French spacing. Yay!
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    Sep 28, 2011 1:35 PM GMT
    DrewT saidIt's been one space for quite some time, I believe. It's a mixture of English and French spacing. Yay!


    That would make sense. The English has you going forward two spaces and then the French kicks in and you retreat one space. keke
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    Sep 28, 2011 1:40 PM GMT
    Celticmusl saidUgh, this again? Two spaces, and if you do one and if you use only one it usually is auto-corrected.



    "Auto-corrected" by what? It's been one space since like 1901. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 28, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    dreamer121the two spaces let the eye breathe between the sentences.


    People used to breathe through their eyes?
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Sep 28, 2011 2:20 PM GMT
    It depends on the type of font being used.

    If you're using a fixed-width font (i.e. Courier), then it's two. (This is basically a typewriter replica.)

    If you're using an adjustable-width font (Times, Arial, etc.), then one space.

    And please, use the tab key to indent. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidIt depends on the type of font being used.

    If you're using a fixed-width font (i.e. Courier), then it's two. (This is basically a typewriter replica.)

    If you're using an adjustable-width font (Times, Arial, etc.), then one space.

    And please, use the tab key to indent. icon_smile.gif


    I have intended a sentence is 20 years. No one does that anymore.
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    I was taught to use two spaces. And this was all on computers. No typewriters. <-- two spaces


    I was taught to use two spaces. And this was all on computers. No typewriters. <-- one space

    what the FUCK. RJ makes it the same amount of space even if I hit two spaces. looks like RJ is in favor of one space.
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    JakeBenson said
    what the FUCK. RJ makes it the same amount of space even if I hit two spaces. looks like RJ is in favor of one space.


    Wouldn't that likely be controlled by the CSS that formats the forum pages?
    (In my limited web knowledge, I'm guessing that's what they use on these thinly formatted pages.)
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    RunintheCity said
    JakeBenson said
    what the FUCK. RJ makes it the same amount of space even if I hit two spaces. looks like RJ is in favor of one space.


    Wouldn't that likely be controlled by the CSS that formats the forum pages?
    (In my limited web knowledge, I'm guessing that's what they use on these thinly formatted pages.)


    Do I LOOK like I know what CSS means?
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    CSS = cascading style sheet.
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    Oh my God.....now you people are tying to bring back indenting??? I have an idea; lets just all go barefoot and go back to living in caves. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:59 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidOh my God.....now you people are tying to bring back indenting??? I have an idea; lets just all go barefoot and go back to living in caves. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think calligraphy is making a comeback ITT
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Sep 28, 2011 3:01 PM GMT
    It depends on the genre you're writing. Academic papers: two spaces after the colon and period; journalistic writing, for instance: one, to save space.
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    Sep 28, 2011 3:12 PM GMT
    RunintheCity said
    JakeBenson said
    what the FUCK. RJ makes it the same amount of space even if I hit two spaces. looks like RJ is in favor of one space.


    Wouldn't that likely be controlled by the CSS that formats the forum pages?
    (In my limited web knowledge, I'm guessing that's what they use on these thinly formatted pages.)


    one of my only punctuation hang ups. Punctuation goes inside quotation marks and outside of parenthesis. "punctuation goes inside quotation marks." (and outside of parenthesis).
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    Sep 28, 2011 3:18 PM GMT
    JoshTPDX said

    one of my only punctuation hang ups. Punctuation goes inside quotation marks and outside of parenthesis. "punctuation goes inside quotation marks." (and outside of parenthesis).


    THANK YOU.

    That said, I still double-space after a period, and I still use the final comma before the "and" in a list. Indenting... Well, I don't think I've done that since writing my university research papers, even in hand-written letters. (I guess referring to "hand-written letters" indicates I'm a serious troglodyte anyway).