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About Writing

Writing: Two spaces after the period? One?


And the war has continued since we were all told one space was now the thing to do. I keenly remember the effort it took to change manuscripts. And to learn to use that one space. And, man, it took some effort.

But we were told a typewriter text is different than the designed ones for the computer. And you didn’t need the double space. That in fact, the new fonts made it easier to read without. And we got suckered in. So, in fact, the one space was superior.

WRONG!

Science has defeated this notion. The double space rules! And there is no damned way I am changing back to it because that is a pain in the ass. But two spaces makes the text easier to read. And, yes, there is a study to show it.

First, they put the students in front of computers and dictated a short paragraph, to see how many spaces they naturally used. Turns out, 21 of the 60 were “two-spacers,” and the rest typed with close-spaced sentences that would have horrified the Founding Fathers.
The researchers then clamped each student’s head into place, and used an Eyelink 1000 to record where they looked as they silently read 20 paragraphs. The paragraphs were written in various styles: one-spaced, two-spaced,  and strange combinations like two spaces after commas,  but only one after periods.  And vice versa, too.
And the verdict was: two spaces after the period is better.  It makes reading slightly easier.  Congratulations, Yale University professor Nicholas A. Christakis.  Sorry, Lifehacker.

The Washington Post

So there we go. Either we all change back or we say screw it. I say do as they want you to do which is still the single space. I do agree, by the way, two spaces does flow better and read better.

Other posts on writing related stuff

How not to write a book
9 Ways to boost creativity
20 ways to write the awesomenessest post

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