Use a Double Space After Period?

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I was actually editing an article for my site when I noticed that this particular writer only used single spaces after periods and after doing some research I was actually shocked to learn that single space after periods appears to be the standard.  In a heated article over on Slate about Two Spaces it apparently is a relic of the typewriter days to use two spaces after a period when writing or publishing.  The ironic thing is I was taught to touch type in high school and learned on a typewriter, so I type double spaces by default when I write sentences.  It comes as second nature and is going to be a very hard habit for me to break, I still read online and my eyes are trained to expect a double space after a period rather than a single space.

I don’t know truly what is considered the formal or acceptable way but I quickly did some scans from professional online sites like Wall Street Journal and NY Times and there are no double spaces after periods in articles.  In addition I have seen a ton of professional articles that begin a sentence with And after a period.  I remember learning in school that the word “and” must always be lower case and can never start a sentence, but I believe this rule has changed over the years though it still causes me to consider it a mistake when I see it in articles.

How many of my readers use single spaces or double spaces after typing a period at the end of a sentence?  I am curious to know how many also have this “habit” by default.

-Justin Germino

Updated: February 20, 2011 — 5:20 pm