One space or two after a period?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by McPaul, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    I've always typed two spaces after a period and of course one after a comma. It was how I've learned to type back in grade 9.

    A friend came along and said that was outdated and people now only type 1 space after a period.

    I haven't asked around at work, or really noticed...

    But now I find that 2 spaces is an automatic reflex and when ever I try and type only 1 space, 2 come out.


    What do you do?

    (Yes, this is my contribution to the incredibly anal thread of the day club. Do I get some sort of pin?)
     
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I discussed this with a friend when I noticed that in HTML only one space was showing up. This is because excess whitespace is ignored. He claimed that the typing styles had changed and one space after a period is all that is required now. But I use two all the time. I can't see doing it any other way.

    I'm guessing that the change was inspired by modern fonts. Use of a typewriter is pretty rare anymore, and most people use non-fixed fonsts. Perhaps with these it's considered easy to distinguish the end of sentence. Of course that doesn't make a lot of sense becaue with a fixed font the two spaces stand out. Maybe it has to do with justified line styles and how spaces and periods are handled there?
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I still use two, partly out of habit and partly because it looks right to me - more indicative of a full stop. However, I've at least gotten to the point where seeing HTF munch that second space doesn't drive me nuts.

    Except in addresses. There's supposed to be two spaces between the postal code and ZIP code, and it looks too bunched up otherwise.
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Two looks better when printed.
     
  5. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    In my junior year in high school (1989) taking typing class, it was always one space after a period.

    Paul
     
  6. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    I took keyboarding in 95 or 96 and it was 2 spaces then.

    [Dances and sings]
    TWO spaces are better than one, I said TWO spaces are better than one....
     
  7. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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  8. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out this thread, where you see me get schooled by an "AutoCAD Technologist".

    Two spaces or one?
     
  9. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Paul, I learned the same way, back in typing class in grades 9 & 10. (On actual TYPEWRITERS...gah!)

    I agree that it is a punctuation convention that isn't necessary on computers, due to typewriters having a fixed-width typeface. I always used to type with two spaces, as I was taught, but over the years I've trained myself to only do one. At least when I'm paying attention. [​IMG]
     
  10. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    We use two spaces in my office.
     
  11. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Leo... wow, who'd have known there would be another thread on this same subject at the HTF just over two years ago?? Funny. and like one of the guys in that thread, I seem to end everything with "..." which I'm trying to get away from...


    -oops-


    Tony... yeah me too, actual typewriters. Grade 9 would have been, 86? for me anyways, and back in Kamloops, that's how we learned.

    I'm not sure what you guys mean about fixed width fonts vs. non, but since the computer age, if it's 1, then I will try to adopt 1.

    Thanks guys!
     
  12. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    I have never been taught to use two spaces after a full stop and to be honest i've never noticed when people use one or two.
     
  13. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    I noticed that the people in this thread who have said they usually use two spaces, didn't in their replies. Weird...

    Paul, I tend to use elipses' quite often as well. I think it's from using instant messenging programs and not wanting to press enter all the time..
     
  14. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    I was wondering the same thing, Mark.
     
  15. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    actually in Leo's linked thread, it's explained that the forum software has something called a "white space condenser". (whatever that means) which makes 2 spaces look like one.
     
  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    We did. Just used two spaces there, in fact. [​IMG]
     
  17. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Simple. Every character on a typewriter used the same amount of space. Didn't matter if it was a capital-W or an exclamation point.

    That isn't always true with computer fonts. The width can be variable from character to character. Generally, a period doesn't take up much space with most fonts, so the need to double-space at the end of a sentence is kinda superfluous.

    Make sense?
     
  18. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    What? People actually use periods and commas anymore? Shouldn't it look something like this:

    dood yo mad tite you dood i think i must rite all dis 2 look like its 1 sentence woot dood

    Sorry if I can't imitate todays kids style better. Seems like people do not know how important punctuation is. I just skip posts that don't have any, can't read them.
     
  19. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    But you see, that doesn't make sense, which I alluded to earlier.

    In a fixed width font, the period is in the middle, and spaces are the same width as a character. So between the period and the next sentence there are two spaces plus the excess to the right of the period. In a variable width font the space isn't usually very big and there's not much excess to the right of the period. So the start of the next sentence will be closer to the period even with two spaces being used.

    Let's see if this shows anything:
    Arial Font
    XX. XX. X
    XXXXXXXXXX

    XX. XX. X
    XXXXXXXXXX

    The first example is Arial font with two spaces then one space. The second is Courier New with the same string.

    Heehee, after examining this I see that the forum stripped out my extra space. But as you can see the fixed width font (courier) has more space between the period and the next letter. So it doesn't need two spaces to stand out.
     
  20. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    I hear ya Keith! I'm just going on what I've heard from folks who do desktop publishing for a living. [​IMG]

    Your example didn't work, as the board strips off the extra space on a two-spacer.

    But it DOES demonstrate fixed-width vs. variable width if you look at how the X's line up with the courier font, and do NOT line up with the Arial.

    But even if it DID properly display the extra space, note the difference in the LENGTH of the lines with the periods. Same number of characters, spaced the same, but the Arial (variable) font takes up SO much less space. But on the other hand, look how wide the spaces in Courier look, compared to the skinny spaces on Arial.

    Interesting.

    *blink*

    Jeezuz....I *must* be bored today, getting this in depth about single-vs-double spaces. [​IMG]
     

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