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Posted: 08 May 2018 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The one-or-two spacing debate rears its ugly head again.

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Posted: 08 May 2018 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Dave Wilton - 08 May 2018 12:28 PM

The one-or-two spacing debate rears its ugly head again.

But your article is both right and left justified, so there are a variety of spaces between words, much less after periods or commas.

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Posted: 09 May 2018 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Nice analysis, until the conclusion, which made a loud “thunk!”

“As far as I know, all the good evidence available, which includes some of the evidence in this study, indicates that there is no reason to believe that either one or two spaces after periods is superior in any measurable way. That is, it really makes no difference. Given that, the best practice is, therefore, to follow As far as I know, all the good evidence available, which includes some of the evidence in this study, indicates that there is no reason to believe that either one or two spaces after periods is superior in any measurable way. That is, it really makes no difference. Given that, the best practice is, therefore, to follow convention. And since, pretty much without exception, all professional typesetters and publishers use only one space after periods, that’s what you should do too, at least until someone comes up wit. And since, pretty much without exception, all professional typesetters and publishers use only one space after periods, that’s what you should do too, at least until someone comes up wit....”

When I was a young fellow, setting type by hand in the basement, and learning to type on a heavy Underwood, the convention was not today’s convention.  People read newspapers, washed their hands, and read books and other printed matter.  Today we still read, more often on screens.  Life goes on.  The spacing convention is different.

Back in the dark ages of my youth, there were people who thought and said things like, “...the best practice is, therefore, to follow convention.” Even in those days, they rarely even tried to explain why conventionality was inherently superior.

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Posted: 09 May 2018 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Nice analysis, until the conclusion, which made a loud “thunk!”

I agree.

That is, it really makes no difference. Given that, the best practice is, therefore, to follow convention. And since, pretty much without exception, all professional typesetters and publishers use only one space after periods, that’s what you should do too

Really?  Even if it makes no difference, we should all “follow convention”?  Why, exactly?  I like using two spaces (as I wrote in my own post on the subject), and I’m damned well going to continue doing so; who exactly am I harming by this?  Your “do as you’re told and don’t ask questions” attitude is utterly foreign to me.

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Posted: 09 May 2018 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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When virtually every professional and expert in a field does something in a certain fashion, it’s wise to follow their professional judgment. Or to put it another way, to hang on to one’s personal preference contrary to the best judgment of the professionals is nothing more than curmudeonry, and you risk being perceived as out of touch with the industry’s standards.

But that said, in this case it doesn’t really matter all that much. I don’t, for instance, try to change my students’ practices in this regard.

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Posted: 09 May 2018 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Unicode has perhaps a score of spaces ranging from : examples “[foo][bar] No width (the character is invisible)” to “[foo] [bar] The width of ideographic (CJK) characters”.  http://jkorpela.fi/chars/spaces.html

I assume you are discussing U+0020, ASCII “space” but even that is now described as “Depends on font, typically em, often adjusted”

I said all that to say this.  If some fonts even adjust the old “space” are we not on the cusp of obsolesce when discussing one or two spaces?

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Posted: 10 May 2018 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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FWIW, changing two spaces to one at the end of a sentence is quite simple; changing one to two is very difficult.  So if you’re going to be wrong you’re better off being wrong by putting in two spaces.

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Posted: 11 May 2018 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Faldage - 10 May 2018 02:01 AM

FWIW, changing two spaces to one at the end of a sentence is quite simple; changing one to two is very difficult.  So if you’re going to be wrong you’re better off being wrong by putting in two spaces.

Why not just be right and put in one space?

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Posted: 11 May 2018 05:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Why not just be right and put in one space?

I hope you’re being ironic here.  There is no “right” and “wrong” in this matter except for professionals in specific situations.

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Posted: 11 May 2018 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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From the time I was learning to read (in the mid 1940’s) through typing class in high school (1958), no teacher of mine ever mentioned a two-space option. Exactly when did that option begin?

[ Edited: 11 May 2018 07:19 AM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 11 May 2018 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Well, I was taught as an army clerk in the 60s to use double spacing (Woolwich Arsenal RA clerical training) and I’m pretty sure this was already a rule of long standing then. When I left military service I ditched the extra space along with the rest of my kit.

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Posted: 11 May 2018 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I always use two spaces after a period and after a colon, and only one after a semicolon.  I was told those things specifically at some point in my life but not sure by whom.  My mother was a former secretary at Prudential Insurance (U.S.) and she may have learned it there and passed it on to me.

I Googled the phrase “typewritten letters world war II” and the first image I looked at, the guy used no spaces after a period at all!  But in almost all the others the authors used 2 spaces.  So my random sample indicates there was probably some sort of standard in use at some point long ago.

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Posted: 11 May 2018 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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As a professional user of html I would like to couch my opinion in web terms; any full stop (period) can be followed by one or no spaces in a ‘normal’ paragraph. Any more added by the writer will be ignored by the runtime parser of html. For clarity’s sake: you can write several spaces in a row but they will collapse to one on realtime rendering.

Unless of course you add some exotic html entity-type space.

I’d broadly go along with that for lack of effort’s sake. Win-win.

So this way; no problem with that: either really, so there. And that’s that. Until the next gripe…

[ Edited: 11 May 2018 06:01 PM by BlackGrey ]
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Posted: 12 May 2018 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I took a class in typing in high school in 1971, give or take a year, and the rule of typing two spaces after a full stop was taught quite explicitly.  I mention this not to argue the point about current practice, but to provide a data point on the history of the practice.

Based on this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sentence_spacing ), double spacing after a sentence seems to have been the normal practice when typewriting (in English) from near the introduction of typewriters, as the best imitation of typesetter’s practice of using an em-space after sentences (longer than the en-space between words). T.S. Eliot used it in his typed manuscript of The Wasteland, and it was mandated in US government documents in a 1959 style guide.

Eyehawk’s typing teacher may not have followed the convention, but that is not because it arose after he learned to type.

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Posted: 12 May 2018 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I like typewriters, although I hated typing, because I made an average of a typo a line, and these were a bugger to fix. I learnt to use double spaces after a full stop. Everybody did. In those days you had to make your own exclamation marks, and this wasn’t a bad thing.

Those days are gone. Now we have computers. I like typing much more, because my frequent mistakes are rectifiable, often before I realise I’ve made them. It’s very easy to hold your finger down and type rows of exclamation marks as you argue over trivia with complete strangers on the internet, but that would be silly. It doesn’t require even one to state that there is only one space nowadays, and there’s an end on it.

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Posted: 13 May 2018 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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changing one to two is very difficult

Not really. You just do a global search and replace for < .[space]> to < .[space][space] >.

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