Study: two spaces after a period makes reading easier

IDONTTHINKWENEEDSPACESATALLORLOWERCASELETTERSTHEROMANSGOTBYJUSTFINEWITHOUTTHEM.

With additional text because the filter doesn’t like that for some reason.

4 Likes

You say abuse, I say celebration. You say lazy, I say efficient. Banana, banawna.

1 Like

Well, that would be more pure TeX than LaTeX. LaTeX does depend on some lower level features from Knuth’s TeX, but was created by Leslie Lamport.

2 Likes

I am sorry, but I am calling “shenanigans.” The effect of one or two spaces depends on the font. Think New Times Roman. Back in the dark ages, when everybody used typewriters, two spaces made sense, and was pretty much universally accepted as the end. When proportional fonts appeared, they won! I admit it has been decades since I dealt with footnotes, bibliographies, and no computers. Today, if your professor won’t accept a paper in MS Word format, he/she is just being an asshole.

1 Like

4 Likes

It is one space. It has always been on space. It has never been two spaces.

However, the inter-sentence space is larger than the inter-word space. To get a larger space on a fixed-width typewriter, you needed to hit the space bar twice.

Ultimately, however, this is a style issue, and you should use one space or two as per the style guide you are using says. As an example, the TeX book says that when using TeX, you should use one space, and TeX will handle typesetting it with the correct width space as needed. Contrariwise, it appears that script guides and submission guidelines for publications require two spaces, as they also want fixed-width fonts and need the extra space to make the space the right width.

2 Likes

IIRC, vBulletin takes your filthy two spaces and renders them properly as one, civilized, space only.

Maybe more space helps to keep sentences distinct, for faster reading, I get it, but none of the books at my desk have double spaces after a period and I can read them just fine. A typographically well designed book will read well. A cheap trade paperback with smaller faces and tight leading might benefit from the visual assistance.

Variable-width fonts in justified left-right columns renders two spaces irrelevant; the measured space after a period—or between words—will be constantly variable to fit the line.

Beyond visual cues, as I read a sentence I’m aware of the subject, object, and other grammatical elements, and so I know the sentence is done when I reach that period regardless of added spacing. So I argue the informational substance of the sentence renders extra visual cues redundant and unnecessary…typographic design notwithstanding.

If you’re writing a memo to your idiot boss then I heartily recommend every advantage you can give to the vaguely literate asshole to actually read what you’ve written.

And what about simplicity? Putting double invisible anything into the mix is a recipe for failure. The problem here is the failure is non-critical and non-destructive. Just annoying. Like having to edit a manuscript or news story with some double spaces and some single—because when you have to add the set manually you will not always get two. And after the author has exercised their cut/copy/paste constitutional rights there will be three space instances, and space before periods, and single space/double space variations, and double periods, and spaces for tabs, etc.; the editor or pre-press people or whomever will (hopefully) GREP the text into conformity and bye-bye double spaces, first line indents, double spacing between paragraphs and all the other weird artifacts of the writing process.

Simplicity rules. GREP is my friend…make it yours.

(for anyone who reads this, congratulations for making it all the way down here. Hello!)

3 Likes

Yeah, but there’s a more relevant one

1 Like

All HTML ignores whitespace (unless you’re inside of a pre tag), so unless the editor is intentionally coded to convert additional spaces into nbsp’s, everything on the internet is single-space-after-the-period.

Now I’m curious is BBS does it too. Let’s see:

Test. Test. One
Test. Test. Two.

At least as far as the preview is concerned, nope, it’s all single-space.

5 Likes

Yep, even if you include two spaces, it only shows as one.

Yeah, but my kind of asshole.

2 Likes

Continuation character in column 7!     I like significant spaces.

1 Like

I’m a two spacer, too. Learned it in 7th grade typing class with their manual typewriters, and my dad’s old, heavy, probably cast iron manual typewriter. That was probably the most useful class I think I’ve ever taken in my life. I’m using those skills to this very day.

2 Likes

By way of thanks for your correction, my proportional response will be to set fire to you house.

2 Likes

@Turnips
@Auld_Lang_Syne

I can only say in my defense that I was typing on my iPhone, and I’m just glad the spelling was correct.

1 Like

No way man - a teacher handing out fresh worksheets was the tip-off that she had a hangover and would be ridin’ us hard, all day long.

“Liked”, though I think it was column 6.

1 Like

Durn that BB verting our subdominant punctuation paradigm!

1 Like

LIES!

gallery-1467985352-angry-computer-gif

3 Likes