How many spaces after a period at the end of a sentence? - Input Junkie
How many spaces after a period at the end of a sentence?|One space!Two spaces!
I was taught to use two spaces after a period (let's take "a period at the end of a sentence" as implied for this discussion) when I learned to type on an electric typewriter, but nobody seemed to care very much or enforce the rule. I used one space because two seemed unnecessary.
I also independently invented the European style of eating meat-- fork in left hand, knife in right, and use the fork to transfer the meat to my mouth. My father didn't like it, but he wasn't a very forceful person, so that's how I keep eating. I find it impossible to empathize with people caring strongly about such things, and I wonder if I'm a little bit on the autism spectrum.
And I was feeling neutral with a mild preference about the spaces after a period issue, especially after reading that very bad-tempered first link. However, I've been reading a facebook discussion where at least a couple of people said having two spaces after a period really does help them read, so let's have a poll.
Do you notice whether there are one or two spaces after a period?
Only if I'm editing
Do you have a preference, and how strong is it?
Strong preference for two spaces
Mild preference for two spaces
I don't care! I don't care! I don't care!
Mild preference for one space
Strong preference for one space
I just want to see the results
I wish to complain about this poll
|Date:||February 5th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)|| |
said to me many years ago, quoting a then popular book, I think, The Mac Is Not A Typewriter. Double spacing is useful on a typewriter but a wasted motion on a word processing system.
I use my knife and fork European style, too.
|Date:||February 5th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)|| |
a wasted motion on a word processing system.
I don't know about Macs, but that's certainly not the case in Word for Windows, or old WordStar, or any other word processor I've used in a PC. In all those, two spaces comes out as two spaces. Only in HTML does it not, so in that case, why worry about which it is, any more than you worry about line breaks in HTML?
If I'm not mistaken, the HTML standard collapses all whitespace down to one space, so two spaces at the end of a sentence will look exactly the same as one space on a web page.
Foo. Bar. That was a single space.
Foo. Bar. That was a double space.
I'll note that my strong preference for 2 spaces is only when I'm typing, because that's how I was taught. It's a habit, rather than a preference. I can't even say that I think about it; I just do it.
|Date:||February 5th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)|| |
This, although I listed it as mild (but I always do it). Frankly, I think computer programs should be smart enough to space things correctly -- but that putting two spaces after the period isn't significant work for humans, and gives programs more data to use to space things out (because I'm not convinced that abreviations should get the same amount of space after the period that a sentence ending does).
I taught myself to read when I was two (at least, nobody in my family would admit to being responsible for my ability to call bullshit on people), and reading is a primary brain function for me. A second space calls attention to itself and interrupts the flow.
|Date:||February 6th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)|| |
It's supposed to interrupt the flow. It's the end of a sentence.
Well, if you let it. Those of us who go after any and all autocorrect with murder in our hearts can stop it.
|Date:||February 6th, 2014 12:02 am (UTC)|| |
I use two spaces. Two spaces is sensible. It helps make the reading process easier. See what happens when two spaces appear in intermediate periods (like "St. Louis") and the difference is obvious.
I also independently invented the European method of eating. That too is sensible.
I'm right-handed. I hold things down with my left hand and cut them with my right. WHY would I ever change hands for something that doesn't require coordination (bringing the cut-off thing to my face) when I know I immediately have to change back for something that DOES require concentration (using a sharp object on food in proximity to my fingers)
"knife right, fork left, eat with fork and don't swap" is the only behaviour that makes sense. Left-handed people should reverse that, and ambidextrous people can die in a fire because they make me so jealous.
I learned *two* spaces -- on a manual typewriter, in high school. (I took a semester of typing, which was unusual for someone in the college-prep track at our school but I knew I was going to need it. Little did I know that with computers I would really need it! I was thinking more then about term papers.)
Yes, on modern word processors it's basically redundant. And it can create "channels" or "rivers" of white spaces down a page (this I notice in books, although they are also created by the process of justifying both margins). But I still do it, at least sometimes -- I think I've partly unlearned it, and don't do it all the time anymore -- because it's habit, and it's how I was taught. And because sometimes the one space after the period doesn't look long enough, and it looks like a short pause, not a full stop. Like a comma, not a period.
As someone mentioned when this came up elsewhere, marking the end of a sentence with two spaces gives the reader more information. If some later program doesn't like to mark the end of sentences, it can macro space-space to space. You can always destroy information. But if the original is one-space, there's no way to change it to two-space, ie to supply the missing information.
What's the benefit of this information that a period doesn't contain? The missing information in this case is totally irrelevant. I can typo9 and leaving that nine on there isn't giving you anything you actually want.
I'm another one who taught myself to read by the age of two or so - I think I just basically acquired all my verbal skills at once. But even at that young age, even in books, two-spaces-at-the-end-of-a-sentence looked wrong. I now recognize that it looks like a typo; it's jarring, and interrupts the flow of what I'm reading.
I recognize the logic in the "European" style of eating, because switching back and forth between fork and knife in the dominant hand does seem to be a lot of wasted motion. But my left hand doesn't have the dexterity (pun intended) to convey morsels of food into my mouth reliably, without occasionally sticking my fork up my nose. So I eat like a small child, even though it's technically not the most perfect of "table manners"; I cut some or all of my meat (and any other food that needs pre-cutting) into bite-size pieces with my knife in my right hand, then set the knife down on my plate, pick up the fork with my right hand, and use the fork to transfer bites of food to my mouth. Actually, I avoid this at home by stir-frying the majority of my meals, so that the foods are already in bite-size pieces before I even cook them... with a single space after each bite ;-)
I agree on the fork/knife thing.
My complaint about this poll: strong preference for whichever is appropriate for the medium. In HTML, proportional fonts, and word processors, that's one space. In monospaced fonts where the format doesn't eat it, two.
|Date:||February 7th, 2014 05:24 am (UTC)|| |
Hey, where's the "Ticky box!" option for the "Addenda" section? ;-P