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Grammar Repair Shop: Two spaces or one?

by on
in Workplace Communication

Q. A question has come up in our office about the use of two spaces after a period between sentences. I was taught in my business and typing courses to use two spaces. Has the protocol changed? Is it now one space? — Marilee Verstraete, Secretarial Services Coordinator, Des Moines, Iowa

A. The “two spaces after a sentence” rule has gone the way of typewriters. The advent of computers brought the use of proportional fonts, meaning each letter occupies only as much space as it needs.

Therefore, you don’t need a large gap between sentences to help the eye scan a document more easily. One space suffices.

When you use two spaces between sentences, it can distract readers, who now are accustomed to seeing only one space. 

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