Should I Double Space After a Period?
Nope. No, you absolutely should not.
OK, so there’s more to it than that, and some of you may have no idea that this is even an issue. Let me explain a bit.
Double spacing after a period was once the norm in the days before computers and modern printers were standard office equipment. When typewriters ruled the non-handwritten-word world, the extra space was needed to more easily differentiate the spaces between words and those between full sentences. However, now that we’ve put the ink ribbons away, you should also put this archaic technique in the deep, dark storage locker of your writing practices.
I fully admit, I have a personal beef with this practice. As a copywriter and editor, it’s like that one tortilla chip that perfectly aligns to jab you right in the gums.
But what’s the big deal?
- The double space is no longer the standard, meaning editors are forced to take out the time to edit each of these unnecessary spaces.
- It is extremely easy to be inconsistent in following this old rule. I have often found single spaces among documents following the double space rule.
- Unless a reader follows this same practice (and sometimes even if they do), these spaces will look like sloppy errors in most cases.
Honestly, I’m empathetic for those that keep this outdated practice alive. After all, we’ve all grown up with some bad habits. That being said, there’s no time like today to break the habit and keep yourself on the up-and-up with today’s writing best practices.
For the love of your copy editor, cut out the double space.