One space or two (according to WaPo)

Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2018

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2018

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After typing up a lengthy book chapter for a doctor who never took a typing class, he informed me that 1 space was normal and that 2 spaces were typos.   I explained that real typists were all taught to use 2 spaces between sentences thus my work was correct and did not contain typos. 

Behind my back, he did a global find & replace to remove all my double spaces.  A few days later, the book publisher called and said he should have used double spaces so he reluctantly put them back .  

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 07, 2018

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I've heard that whether you use two spaces or one is somewhat of an age indicator – i.e., older folks may use two, while younger typers only one.

I have always used two, as I grew up that way.  Also, I've always thought having two spaces after periods gave the eye more structure to work with when reading, sort of like breaking multiple sentences into paragraphs...  You wouldn't want to read anything of substantial length that wasn't broken out into paragraphs.

Note however that HTML and CMS's like WordPress typically coalesce more than one white space (in the input) into a single space in the output.  In fact, that WaPo article had to force using two spaces when it did (via usage of an added nbsp character in the underlying HTML code).  So it may not ultimately matter that much in the end, as most of the time online you're going to get one-spaced results anyway, unless you take exceptional measures.

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Guide ,
May 06, 2018

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99% of my/our development is for online presentation. I actively remove double-spaces if I catch them on submit. We have copy-editors at the office for a lot of stuff, I need to check what their official policy is. IMO, for online text, double-spacing after the end of a sentence is outdated and pointless, and I just don't like the look of it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2018

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It's worth noting that all of the testing they did utilized a monospaced font (like at typewriter, which does need two spaces). The one-space-after-a-period standard was created for variable width fonts.

The results of the testing may have been different if they had tested with those.

(I grew up with typewriters and using two spaces, but I have adapted to the digital age, and now use only one. I also actively remove the double-spacing from any text I receive)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2018

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SJRiegel  wrote

I grew up with typewriters and using two spaces, but I have adapted to the digital age...

As did I.  I also learned cursive writing in grade school.  Another technique lost to the digital age.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-levy/kids-cant-read-cursive_b_6462470.html

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2018

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Speaking of cursive writing, Nancy, I had some old letters that my 2nd great-grandfather wrote, but they were in old German script. I can sort of read some easy German, but, couldn't even make out what the words were. Luckily, my father-in-law could both read and translate. My mother-in-law, who is also German, could not read the letters.

Oh, and I used to be a two space guy. Like Jim said, I think it helps break up the writing, as paragraphs do, or maybe I am just an old fart. Anyway, I'm using one space now.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Chuck+Uebele  wrote

Speaking of cursive writing, Nancy, I had some old letters that my 2nd great-grandfather wrote, but they were in old German script. I can sort of read some easy German, but, couldn't even make out what the words were.

I know exactly what you mean.

Years ago, our institute's archives contained several hand written letters and notes in old German Script by the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.   It occurred to me that only a handful of our older German speaking members were left who could read script.  So I got them together for a translation party.    I'm glad we did it when we did, too, because most of those people are gone now.  

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2018

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That's neat, Nancy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2018

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 15, 2018

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This debate does not exist in French (which has rather rigid typographic rules😞 only one space.

That's all.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 16, 2018

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JR_Boulay  wrote

This debate does not exist in French (which has rather rigid typographic rules😞 only one space.

That's all.

Règles de typographie et fautes fréquentes

So, that's far from being simpler than in English.

Compare typing on an old typewriter and in Word with the computer.

The software automatically adds the spaces before the '.',  the '?', the '!' and so on.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2018

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I do not use Word. 😉

Also see: https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/?p=870

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2018

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JR_Boulay  wrote

I do not use Word. 😉

... moi non plus !

As a matter of fact i did not remember the English word for 'traitement de texte'.

The first word processor I was able to use at home was  "Wordstar". Some time back in the 20th century and before the first IBM PC were released, I bought an ATT terminal version in which they had packed a CPM board into the big keyboard. Green monochrome display, two 8" floppy disks units (each the size of a compact desktop today). And a daysy wheel printer. Now, I am happy with Open Office/Libre Office and Scribus when needed.

Also see: https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/?p=870

Yes, I appreciate it very much.

It's a pity some very valuable contributions are not translated into English.

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