Monday, July 25, 2011

More on the one-space, two-space controversy

A lot of ink, um, I mean electrons have been spilled over whether you should put one space or two at the of end of a sentence before starting the next. First weighed in (here and here) now comes 3 Geeks and a Law Blog which describes different approaches depending on the medium (smartphone, website, legal document, etc.).  The consensus seems to be that one space is correct (notwithstanding your default settings to the contrary) though I doubt anyone has ever lost a case because they used two.

After attending a 4-hour grammar class--yes, I know, I am a geek--I was heartened to witness that there are those still out there who are positively impassioned about punctuation.
The class erupted in a thirty-minute discussion on--get this--how many spaces should follow a period.
Good grief.
You would have thought we were talking about which soda as better: Pepsi or Coke. No fewer than thirty-five people weighed in on the matter. These were their thoughts:
  1. If you are typing on a typewriter (and, really, who does this?), it is two spaces.
  2. If you are tweeting, it is one space--if you have even written a complete sentence, that is.
  3. If it is a legal document, it is two spaces.
  4. If it is a mobile device, most phones automatically make it a period followed by one space, if you enter two spaces.
  5. If it is web copy, it is one space.
Finally, after nearly coming to fisticuffs, the consensus was to use one space after a period.
Geez. You woulda thought it was the Grammargeddon.
Here's the link.


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