Two spaces after a period…

is wrong. So wrong.

I’ve believed this since I was in junior high. Why two spaces? I followed the rules dutifully–until I didn’t. There was a point, maybe college, when I just stopped clicking the spacebar twice before beginning a new sentence.

Then a couple years ago I heard someone on the radio who validated my aesthetic space affection by explaining how two spaces were just a remnant from clunky typewriters and monospaced type.

Then I came across this Slate article by Farhad Manjoo. Here’s what he says about pesky two-spacers:

What galls me about two-spacers isn’t just their numbers. It’s their certainty that they’re right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the “correct” number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space “rule.” Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. “Who says two spaces is wrong?” they wanted to know.

Typographers, that’s who.

Yes, how refreshing. When I’ve let known my dislike for two spaces publicly, it’s as if I’d blasphemed. The Slate article does a good job shining light on the subject. Read it, and if using two spaces is an engrained habit, hopefully you’ll be able to break free.

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