One Space, Two Space…There is no Debate

I’m sure you have absolutely no idea what the heck I’m going to be talking about if you just read the title of this post. That’s okay. I’m only writing this because I’ve read other posts that just leave me scratching my head. I’m talking about the number of spaces after finishing a sentence. This is not something I thought could be questioned. To me it’s like asking if the Β first letter of the first word in a sentence should be capitalized. Let’s go on a quick trip down memory lane.

When I was in high school and my English teacher would give out paper assignments I struggled to meet the minimum length requirements. And by struggled I mean I did whatever I possibly could to write less than the required length. There are a number of ways to do this that I won’t get into, but I am well aware that these tactics are used every school year in just about every setting. One of the things that I did during my high school days was put two spaces after every finished sentence. I did this for some time. But if my memory serves me correctly, one of my English teachers told me about it and said it is proper to only have one space. I ignored her. Ha. But in college I was told again. And this time I was more comfortable with my writing and thought page requirements were hilarious because they were so easy. So I decided to use the appropriate number of spaces after a sentence rather than be docked points.

But make no mistake about it, I never thought two spaces was proper. I just used two spaces as long as I was allowed to do so. Pretty much what we all do when we’re doing something that isn’t quite right. But now, seeing “writers” claiming that there is no set rule and they use two spaces is an absolute joke. Write something in Word and use one space after sentences and then change it to two spaces. It does not look right. At all. So shut up.

I would link to A LOT of academic and other credible resources that tell you what is and is not acceptable when it comes to this particular question, but I’m not. Cause this isn’t a valid question at all.


5 thoughts on “One Space, Two Space…There is no Debate

  1. The spacing has something to do with kernaling (whatever that is) for Word. When you type on a typewriter, it always has to be two spaces because trust me, it does not look right with one space, but something in Word’s programing nudges letters in a word together more, so that two space anyone learned on a typewriter, is wrong. I’ve had to really work at it over the years to not type a second space since I did learn on the typewriter. Fortunately, there is the find and replace method in every type of word doc. :/


  2. I think I remember learning in grade school or middle school that it was supposed to be two spaces. Now, that being said I never use two spaces. I’ve always used one and by the looks of it, that is the preferred method for pretty much anything that isn’t written on a typewriter.


  3. Two spaces might still be correct, as it was for you and me in all those years. But we are defeated by technology – that is to say, word processing. We’ll either type it manually or settle for the occasional sentence that starts with a space. “Delete sentence” – if we do it professionally – is done by a couple of keys that execute a series of commands ending with “and bleep the period and the space thereafter.” Given the reams of programming (I’m guessing) to get that far, it’s just not feasible to add a variable for two spaces, but only of they close a sentence, and not if we really *meant* two spaces (which people do!) – oh, no. We are defeated. Period, one space.


  4. Typewriters are over. One space at the end of a sentence is the norm regardless of what we were taught in grade school. You are right; it isn’t a real question anymore. But I do have a question that is relevant to current formatting. I bought a copy of “Divided Within”, and one of the first things I noticed was the whitespace (talk about spaces) at the beginning of your chapters. How? I thought KDP didn’t recognize whitespace.


  5. Pingback: On Stephen King | Write me a book, John!

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