Use one space between sentences
In the days of typewriters we used double spaces between sentences.
Modern style guides recommend one space
According to modern style guides, including the Australian Style manual and the American AP Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style, you should use a single space after a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark.
Style manual says:
‘In typewritten (as distinct from typeset) material, it was customary to place two spaces after a colon, semicolon, full stop or other sentence-closing punctuation. Programs for word processing and desktop publishing offer more sophisticated, variable spacing, so this practice of double spacing is now avoided because it can create distracting gaps on a page.’
People have strong views on this topic, and it is a hard habit to break.
If you are a ‘double spacer’, I suggest you do a ‘search and replace’ when you’ve finished writing until you’ve retrained your fingers.
Not everyone is convinced about single spacing
Although style guides have adopted a single space, the debate between single and double spacers rages on and The Washington Post had an article in favour of double spacing in May 2018. The argument in favour of double spacing was based on a Yale University study.
Several people think this study was flawed. For example, Tara Haelle says it was ‘based on a single study of 60 college students, where only the students who use double spaces themselves read text faster (a whopping 3% faster!) in a fixed-width font with two spaces instead of one after periods.’
No doubt the debate will continue, but in the meantime I remain a single spacer.
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