RE: spacing after a period

Subject: RE: spacing after a period
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 15:45:36 -0500

Tara Charter said...

> I'm the lone tech writer in an old school world. After working here
> eight months, my use of
> "one space after a period" is now under scrutiny but none other than
> in charge of
> documentation. I can't wait to see what's next. Like, why did I not
> the carbon paper in the
> copier?

This is one of those situations where there's no "right" or "wrong"
answer, because even the "standard" style guides can't agree. I decided
long ago it's a battle not worth losing sleep over. I went through a
Tech Writing program that was under an English Department and used MLA
Style Guide (2 spaces after a full stop). My editor and manager here
comes from a Journalism tradition and the Chicago Manual of Style (1
space after full stop). She's my manager and my editor, so I do it that

I did have a bit of a transition period at first, but this is one of the
few things MS Word was helpful in "re-training" my brain. I went into
the settings and told it to flag me (not fix it for me) whenever I put 2
spaces after a full stop. After seeing enough of those bloody squiggles
I finally learned to not hit the extra space.

Even if you don't use Word, you can probably have your normal
application do this with a "find and replace" to search for the full
stop and X spaces and replace it with the full stop and Y spaces.

I know it can be frustrating when non-writers try to dictate style, but
remember the "golden rule" -- he (or she) who has the gold makes the
rules. Whenever the person signing the checks speaks, I do my best to
listen. ;-)

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