JS Tip 478: Use One Space after a Period (Despite the Recent Study)
From the Writing Workshops: Use One Space After a Period (Despite the Recent Study)
Use one space after a period (or other sentence-ending punctuation).
Here we stand with the Associated Press, the Modern Language Association, and The Chicago Manual of Style. One space.
Period. Well. Yes. Period.
A recent study in the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics claimed that two spaces were better.
But the study was flawed. (The research team recognized the flaws but persisted anyway.)
The study used a monospaced font (Courier New) to test the theory.
Wait a minute.
Typewriters used monospaced fonts. An i took up the same space as an m(because the typewriter was a mechanical system). You needed two spaces to identify the end of one sentence and the beginning of another.
But when was the last time you used a typewriter?
Word-processing programs use proportionally spaced fonts.
Word-processing programs insert—automatically—the appropriate space between sentences. You don’t have to hit two spaces. (In fact, many spell-check and auto-correct programs will remove the extra space.)
Use one space after a period (or other sentence-ending punctuation). One space is standard in business and technical writing.
The study was flawed. Time Magazine ended its short report on the study with “Time stands by its one-space stance.”