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  1. #1
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question RE: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Hi folks,

    I would be very grateful if someone might be able, please, to confirm what would be the correct the number of spaces between a period and the first letter of the next sentence. For example, when tying a document/essay/letter in 'Word', I was always taught that you should leave a total of 'two' spaces. This was also true whilst learning English at school (pre-computer era):

    "It was a terrible month.**November was always like this."

    But, I have also seen - in many various instances - such gaps between sentences amounting to only one single space:

    "It was a terrible month.*November was always like this."

    Thanks very much indeed for any kind assistance offered.

    Paul (UK)

    EDIT: Spaces now highlighted with '
    *' (thanks emsr).
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 16-Aug-2017 at 14:54. Reason: sentence spacing
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Way back (I'm not saying how long) when I took "Typing" as a subject at school, the norm was to leave two spaces after every full stop (period). That is rarely the style used these days. There might be some editors or publishers who insist on it but the standard spacing after a full stop is just one space (the same as after a comma, question mark, exclamation mark, closing bracket etc.)

    You might notice that your browser (or this forum, I'm not sure which) automatically removed one of the two spaces you tried to put after a full stop in your first example sentence. You've ended up with two identical sentences, both with just one space after the full stop.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Never put two spaces after a period. It was conventional to do so in the old days of fixed-font typewriters. Modern word processors automatically adjust the spacing so that sentences are easy to read with a single space between them.
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  4. #4
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Way back (I'm not saying how long) when I took "Typing" as a subject at school, the norm was to leave two spaces after every full stop (period). That is rarely the style used these days. There might be some editors or publishers who insist on it but the standard spacing after a full stop is just one space (the same as after a comma, question mark, exclamation mark, closing bracket etc.)

    You might notice that your browser (or this forum, I'm not sure which) automatically removed one of the two spaces you tried to put after a full stop in your first example sentence. You've ended up with two identical sentences, both with just one space after the full stop.
    Hi emsr,

    Thanks for pointing out the fact that the two spaces between the period and next sentence had been adjusted by my browser. I had amended it accordingly.

    Yes, I was also taught: "two spaces after a period." I am going back to the late 1970s now and so I am not sure when this legend changed?

    Again, reading books by different publishers produces different results; although mostly having just a single space (so as to preserve real estate I would have guessed?).

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  5. #5
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Never put two spaces after a period. It was conventional to do so in the old days of fixed-font typewriters. Modern word processors automatically adjust the spacing so that sentences are easy to read with a single space between them.
    GoesStation,

    Cheers for the 'Space Invaders' link.

    Without having to worry about checking to see if I have consistently made one (or two) space between sentences (and punctuation marks) actually makes my life a lot easier now, thanks.

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 16-Aug-2017 at 14:58. Reason: spelling
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  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    The first thing that publishers do with every submitted manuscript is to replace every instance of multiple spaces with a single space.
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  7. #7
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The first thing that publishers do with every submitted manuscript is to replace every instance of multiple spaces with a single space.
    Thanks GS,

    And so, do you think that the grammatical-world in general now operates in agreement that such double-spacing is now obsolete?

    Paul
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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlicks View Post
    And so, do you think that the grammatical-world in general now operates in agreement that such double-spacing is now obsolete?
    The typesetting world does. Grammar is a different matter.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    In fact, I'd hazard a guess that a large fraction of the world of people who care about English grammar continues to put two spaces after each period. There's a large contingent of people I'd describe as blind rule-followers in that population, people who learn a rule and will follow it till their last breath.
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  10. #10
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Correct Number of Spaces Following a Period (help?)

    I know i learned to use two, and still normally do when writing documents.

    The US Government Printing Office, which sets the standards for the entire government mandates only one. If you think about the number of things the government prints, the savings in paper must be enormous.

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