Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Spaces after Periods?

A nice piece , Space Invaders, by a typographer in Slate on why you should use one space after periods rather than two, and a semi-reasonable rebuttal "You Can Have My Double Space When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Hands" in the Atlantic  (I am particularly sympathetic to the computer science argument).

As a long time typography enthusiast, I've long used 1 space, but realize that most don't. It comes up quite often for me in co-authored papers where I constantly replace the double spaces of my co-authors (fortunately with find and replace, it is quite easy). I actually got into a minor scuffle over this at the White House, it was insisted that we use two spaces in official memos.


James Lin said...

(I wrote this on your Facebook page but didn't realize you posted it here also, and I usually prefer posting to your weblog.)


1. The author argues that everyone's switched to proportional fonts, but yet he's surprised that computer programmers are among those who follow the two space rule? Monospace is still king in coding.

2. It doesn't really matter. Most of the text I read nowadays is HTML, and all renderers happily collapse all whitespace into a single space anyway. The cases where I don't want that to happen are--no surprise--again the cases where I specifically want fixed-width fonts.

James Lin said...

Also, what's the deal with your space before the comma?

HoBs said...

bah. the space before comma = laziness.

yeah, post here. feels less desolate that way, even though I think all the people who read the blog except you, read my posts on facebook these days.

I sometimes think I should just post to facebook. But nice sense of history here. Been doing this for 15 years. why stop now.