Typing Question


Recently, when typing up a report for school, my friend told me that when you type, your’e supposed put two spaces between every sentence. I asked my teacher, and he said the same. When I got home that day, I asked my mom who had taken typing classes in school about it, and she said she was never taught that way. Have you ever heard of this? It just sounds kind of weird to me…

(WildCat23) #2

I was always taught to put two spaces between sentences. Some people don’t though, it doesn’t really matter.


I have but I never do it you do it because it will automatically get a proof at the end so I just don’t too much work for me

(SR) #4

I never have learned it that way, but my mom always tells me to do it. But it’s annoying.


It’s a “standard”. Take a look at MS Word for example - that is the default sentence spacing in most word processing software, has been for years. (MS didn’t invent it)

(Troy(oyo) #6

You are supposed to do 1 space after a sentence. The two space thing originates from typewriters where letter spacing was fixed and if you put only 1 space after a sentence, it wasn’t visually very good. To clear things up, they started putting 2 spaces after the period. Now you are only supposed to do 1 because the computer doesn’t have the same spacing issues.


I still do two spaces.

I also indent my paragraphs. :slight_smile:


did they mean double spacing on the lines? Why not make the space bar make bigger spaces?


Well, if you make the spacebar make bigger spaces you end up with gaps between words that look like this which looks a bit silly. I’ve always double spaced at the end of sentences because that’s the way I was taught and I think it looks a bit neater (though that could just be because I’m used to it). The only time I single space after a sentence is when I’m on Twitter where character economy is king.




I was taught that as well, but I never do it.

Unless I’m a couple lines shy on a report with a page requirement, that is :wink:


haha, good idea. ;D


This is exactly right. It was always a workaround for typewriters, period (no pun intended). It is not a “some do it, some don’t; both are fine” sort of thing, either. Two spaces in a word-processed document is simply incorrect. One space only. If any mothers out there want to hear it from an English teacher turned professional copywriter, send them to me. :wink:

To be extra clear: two spaces is not correct. Don’t do it.


Or else…!

Since we’re talking typography here, let me clear this one up, too! Indenting paragraphs is perfectly fine. Leaving a blank line between paragraphs is also fine. But you need to pick one or the other. If you leave a blank line AND you indent, you are doing it wrong.

It used to be considered best practice to use indentation for long continuous works (like a novel) or informal communications (a letter to a friend). The blank line was reserved primarily for business letters. However, that was mostly convention and tradition and has for the most part fallen by the wayside; most informal communication these days uses the “blank line” approach.


My mom’s a teacher… It’s fine to do both…

And I do too. For school anyway.


Being a teacher doesn’t make you instantly right. I only wish! I’m an English teacher as well as a marketing and technical copywriter. Whose expertise trumps? Probably the person who also has a keen and active passion for typography and follows up with the experts in the field of typography. “It’s fine” as in your teachers aren’t going to deduct marks. But it’s not correct.

I think the article linked to a few replies above lays it all out pretty clearly. Here’s just one excerpt for the TL;DR crowd:

“Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It’s one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men’s shirt buttons on the right and women’s on the left. Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period.”


Eh, it’s not that big of a deal for me.