Study: two spaces after a period makes reading easier

Why does no one else do the post-question-mark-nonbreaking-white-space ?

I think you got “proportional” and “non-proportional” the wrong way round there.

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Bingo. Coder life. Of course, if I’m editing / creating content in my (monospaced) IDE, something has gone very wrong, but maybe there’s jobs where it does apply. The point being (as made in one of the linked articles) that the presentation on screen (single space) need not match the code. In fact it almost never will have double spaced sentences; it takes significant extra work to achieve that on a web page!

" …one space. But for… "
I see one space. Hmmm.

My typing teacher (mid-70s high school on monstrously noisy electric machines) made sure that typewriter hopped twice at the end of every complete thought. It’s a rhythm hard to put away and that wide space before the next complete thought was definitive. I liked it. Yet, this, too, has passed. What with being able to type with proportional spacing and no-nonsense proofreaders I’m cured.

Now I save my ire for the pre-period space . (yes, that one)


My assumption of the origin of the double space has always been from when we were taught to write by hand by primary school teachers whose lives had been made miserable from wretched children’s run-on sentences and forgotten punctuation. They taught us to put a finger width of space after a sentence so that the reader has some indication when they are supposed to insert the verbal pause between sentences. This type of reading out loud is what separates us from robotic human readers and Text-To-Speech applications.

Therefore, my take on this study is #NewsFromTheWorldOfDuh.

Also, as I do most of my professional work in SQL I despise proportional fonts with a passion. All letters should have exactly the same pitch otherwise you cause things to not line up properly. This in turn makes spotting typos more difficult.

Also, IMHO, nobody gave a shit about the extra space until stuff like Twitter came along where you had a fixed character limit.

Besides, It’s a rule. Sometimes rules are made to be broken… but this isn’t one of those times.

Finally, I’m old. Feel free to change the rules after I’m dead, until then just deal with it.


Spaces after periods, the final frontier…

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Since they were usually printed in blue and we loved to “inhale the freshness” of the day’s handout a certain synesthesia is triggered whenever I see that color and typeface. And to have most of the 'a’s and 'e’s filled in is icing on the cake. It was always obvious whether an electric or manual typewriter had been used.

It wasn’t just about the onion on the belt but which onion and which belt.


its not just one space, its one space + the white space above the period - it results in a a wider space between letters signifying the end of the sentence.

Double spaces are just for adding clarity to mono spaced type.

You can use double spaces with your proportional fonts if you wish - how else will we sort the typography rubes from the aesthetically cultured.

Sure, and hard returns after periods will improve it even more.

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You’re the first to post it without supplying the mouseover.

its not just one space, its one space + the white space above the period - it results in a a wider space between letters signifying the end of the sentence.

Unless the sentence ends with an exclamation point, a question mark, a quotation mark, or a parenthesis.

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For sassy retorts, I believe it to mean In My Homosexual Opinion

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I one-space, but only because I’m lazy. I agree two-spaced writing is easier to read.

If the Founding Fathers cared so much about spacing and grammar, we wouldn’t still be having debates about second amendment commas.

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not really - all those punctuation marks have more white space than letter.

I think this is important:

Reading speed only improved marginally, the paper found, and only for the 21 “two-spacers,” who naturally typed with two spaces between sentences. The majority of one-spacers, on the other hand, read at pretty much the same speed either way.

(my emphasis)


This is a fairly serious problem with the study. It’s like saying

Study finds that all text should be sized to 70 pt! This size was found to be the most legible when printed light gray on dark gray and read in a dark room.


Since i, too, do most of my serious composing in LaTeX, i’m with the sole dissenter to the right in that comic. The program will figure out most of the ‘making it look purty’, so to organize my thoughts i put a line break between every sentence.


So, obviously that means that @TheGreatParis is commenting on Boing Boing as corporate work! Care to fess up to being a sock-puppet for Dunder-Mifflin Mr. GreatParis, if that even is your real name?
Or, keeping in mind that i know you were joking, the commenting system here decides on the amount of white-space to have on it’s own. For example i just used five spaces before this sentence.

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Hasn’t Joey been through enough, already?

Also, shame on you, for encouraging the abuse of Helvetica and enabling lazy design.