Two spaces? Hell no.

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I just came across this nice post that excoriates the use of two spaces between sentences. It’s here.

I, for one, was surprised that people even did that. In my experience, I haven’t really come across many folk who do that as a matter of course. Heck, I never did.

Or maybe I never really noticed it. I haven’t been very attentive with these things, I admit. But then again, I probably have come across one or two of them, but put it down to fast and loose typography, that it didn’t really matter much.

It seems more prevalent than I first thought, too. The couple of people I asked said, yes, it’s possible; I’ve used two spaces in my writing, but that’s ok, isn’t it?

Nope.

Ever since I learned to type, I never did use two spaces in between sentences. It just goes against the grain of what I know. You just use one space. Period.

Let’s give it a try, just to see what it feels and looks like:

Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.  Bla bla bla bla. Zip zip zip zip zip. Null null. Yada yada yada yada yada yada yada. Bla zip null yada.

Yeah, I can see how that might seem right, but not. It almost looks ok, but there’s something basically awry with it.  It looks… airy. Like the text was full of holes and very loose. No, I don’t think that should be.

Yes, a space delineates a pause in the narrative. Two spaces delineate a long, extended, and unintended pause. To have a block of text riddled with these unnecessary pauses makes the text seem like wind could rush through it unimpeded.

From now on, I’m going to be more aware of these things. Pay more attention. I think it’s important, in the bigger scheme of things. Two spaces.

Who’da thunk it?

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2 Comments

  1. ajt
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    The blog platform automatically converts two spaces to just one space, so your example isn’t visually representative of the two-spaced look.

  2. Adel Gabot
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, you’re right. Didn’t look that way in TextEdit when I drafted it.

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