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feeling vindicated. Two spaces are better!  RSS feed

 
master steward
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I've had a few people politely mention that it's now inappropriate to put two spaces after a period.  Even my web browser corrects this for me.  I put two spaces after each sentence like I was taught, and when it is published, the extra space mysteriously vanishes.  (although there have been some lovely software updates to permies to prevent this from happening here - thanks guys)

With Dyslexia, I eagerly grab hold of anything that makes reading easier.  Having a visual break between sentences, something easier to see than a tiny speck of dirt like a punctuation mark, makes it easier for me to understand when the thought is over and a new one begins.  Thus the extra space.

I can understand why we are moving away from the extra space.  It was useful for handwriting and fixed type like a typewriter.  But now with juxtaposition being the norm, it kind of messes up the formatting.  This is a shame.  Not just because I'm nostalgic for the extra space but because it really does make text easier to read.

The most recent edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual states that two spaces should follow the punctuation at the end of a sentence. This is in contrast to the one-space requirement from previous editions. However, to date, there has been no empirical support for either convention. In the current study, participants performed (1) a typing task to assess spacing usage and (2) an eye-tracking experiment to assess the effect that punctuation spacing has on reading performance. Although comprehension was not affected by punctuation spacing, the eye movement record suggested that initial processing of the text was facilitated when periods were followed by two spaces, supporting the change made to the APA Manual. Individuals’ typing usage also influenced these effects such that those who use two spaces following a period showed the greatest overall facilitation from reading with two spaces.



Is this what they call irony?  Their abstract on the benefit of extra spaces has no extra space after each period.  

an easier to read article about the study
 
gardener
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Right there with ya, R.  It is way easier for me to read, too.  I don't understand why there is the sense that space conservation needs to happen on net, in particular.  That's the primary argument I've heard for single-spacing-after-period that makes any sense at all.  And yes, the irony of the abstract being in single-space was noted!
 
pollinator
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I simply type this way out of force of habit.  Back when I was taught to type, you put two spaces in after ever period/full-stop.  My right thumb just automatically goes there -- tap, tap.  I don't think I'd be able to break myself of this habit at this point.

But I agree with you -- it's easier to read with two spaces rather than one.  It's the same principle of why it's difficult to read when people type IN FULL CAPS.  You eye just sort of scans along the top of the letters, with no break to help make the distinction between the symbols (in this case, the letters of the words).  Lower-case letters are easier to recognize.  Having a double-space after a full-stop also makes it easier to recognize the end of one sentence and the start of another.
 
master pollinator
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I'm a big fan of the traditional two spaces.  Yep, two spaces.

 
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