Re: using 1 or 2 spaces after a period

Subject: Re: using 1 or 2 spaces after a period
From: Karel van der Waarde <waarde -at- GLO -dot- BE>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 17:22:03 -0400

Stephanie Gibson asked:

>I know it is common practice among writers to use only 1 space after a
>period, but what is the rule in general? Our company produces tests for
>legal and professional secretaries as part of what we do and I've been
>asked to show, in writing, which to use - 1 or 2 spaces after a period -
>in a typing test.
>I'm searching through all my styleguides, but none of them have anything
>about this particular rule. Any help is appreciated!!!!!

Robert Bringhurst (1996) The elements of typographic style, second edition.
Published by Hartley & Marks states on page 28 and 30 (Verbatim):

2.1.4 Use a single word space between sentences.
In the nineteenth century, which was a dark and inflationary age in
typography and type design, many compositors were encouraged to stuff extra
space between sentences. Generations of twentieth-century typists were then
taught to do the same, by hitting the space bar twice after every period.
Your typing as well as your typesetting will benefit from unlearning this
quaint Victorian habit. As a general rule, no more than a single space is
required after a period, a colon or any other mark of punctuation. Larger
spaces (e,g, en spaces) are themselves punctuation. The rule is usually
altered, however, when setting classical Latin and Greek, romanized
Sanskrit, phonetics or other kinds of texts in which sentences begin with
lowercase letters. In the absence of a capital, a full en space between
sentences will generally be welcome.

I hope this helps,
Karel van der Waarde
waarde -at- glo -dot- be

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