Though the debate about this topic rages on, there’s a decent chance you’re doing a very specific something wrong every time you write a blog post. It probably also depends — at least a little bit — on how old you are. The older you are, the likelier it is that you’re doing it. What am I talking about? Well, have you ever used one of these? If so, then the double-click on the spacebar is a familiar staple.
Even though I grew up using computers instead of typewriters, I was taught to type by something who was brought up on the spacebar double-tap, so I had it ingrained into me to always add two spaces at the end of a sentence. But guess what? That’s wrong. We don’t need two spaces anymore. If you’re shaking your head at me right now, read on past my handy little infographic to hear me out…
The Debate: One Space or Two After a Period?
The (Outdated) Case for Two Spaces In the days of hand-set type and typewriters, two spaces were important for readability. That’s because typewriters used a monospaced font, which means that every letter, character, and space occupies exactly the same width. As you can see in my infographic, a tiny little period takes up just as much space as a capital ‘L.’ Here are some examples of monospaced fonts in case you need more of a visual.
Case Closed Now that we do everything on computers, tablets, and smartphones, we have access to a huge variety of fonts. Very, very few of these are monospaced fonts and are instead variable-width, or proportional. A period, being just a tiny little mark, only takes up a tiny little bit of space.
Nowadays, we see a lot of Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri being used. Courier and Courier New, on the other hand, are not getting a lot of action anymore.
The Final Verdict: ONE Space After a Period
Unless you’re using a monospaced font, which is highly unlikely, then that extra space at the end of a sentence doesn’t add anything in terms of readability or correctness. The only reason to add two spaces instead of one is habit.
While the double-space is hardly the new smoking, it’s still not a bad habit to try to shake. No, the second space won’t hurt anything, but why would you want to take up the extra room?!