Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interesting News!

Two Spaces After a Period--The Old Way
Here's the deal: Most typewriter fonts are what are called monospaced fonts. That means every character takes up the same amount of space. An "i" takes up as much space as an "m," for example. When using a monospaced font, where everything is the same width, it makes sense to type two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence to create a visual break. For that reason, people who learned to type on a typewriter were taught to put two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence.

One Space After a Period--The New Way
But when you're typing on a computer, most fonts are proportional fonts, which means that characters are different widths. An "i" is more narrow than an "m," for example, and putting extra space between sentences doesn't do anything to improve readability.
Notice how in this example, the "i's" and "t" take up much less space in the proportional font than they do in the monospaced font.

Although how many spaces you use is ultimately a style choice, using one space is by far the most widely accepted and logical style.

With the introduction of proportional fonts in computers, double sentence spacing became obsolete. These proportional fonts now assign appropriate horizontal space to each character (including punctuation marks), and can modify kerning values to adjust spaces following terminal punctuation, so there is less need to manually increase spacing between sentences. From around 1950, single sentence spacing became standard in books, magazines and newspapers.

Hope this helps when you are typing your persuasive essays at home!

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