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Blog > Single space after a period is right. Double spaces is wrong. Really.

Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


Single space after a period is right. Double spaces is wrong. Really.

November 7th, 2011

I don’t actually know why, but when I write. I put one space after each period. I can’t remember why I learned to do this, and sometimes when I write, I feel a little pang of guilt with this feeling like maybe I should be putting two spaces. I learned to type on a manual typewriter in high school. But I’m lazy, so I put one. Recently, I read this article in Slate, entitled ” Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it.” and I am now guilt free. If you type, it’s great reading. Excellent for cocktail “did you know that…” conversations.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

2 Responses to “Single space after a period is right. Double spaces is wrong. Really.”

  1. Dean Says:

    “So, kids, if your teachers force you to use two spaces, send them a link to this article.” There is nothing in this article that clearly defines the rule for spacing. He argues for a single space. He references typography experts that are trying to save space on a page.
    Since many people learned typing on a typewriter, this was the rule. There has been nothing published that says you should not use 2 spaces. On webpages, it makes sense. In books, the words are justified, so there needs to be a distinction between sentences.

  2. Jill Olkoski Says:

    Hi Dean,
    He seems to offer several resources that can be checked to see if this rule is true. At least for online writing (what I do), it makes sense.

    And as an FYI, my partner just published a book – and the publisher (Dogwise) insisted on single space after periods. Even Wikipedia says single spaces are the proper spacing. So from what I can tell, it sure does look like it’s the standard for both written and web print. I looked through many of the books on my shelf – all single spaces after periods – even with justification.

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