Here’s a parting note from a visiting journalism professor to his students about one of the most annoying and wrong things being taught in schools today:
“One last thing. For the love of pete, stop putting two spaces after a period. You know who you are. Do this for the editors and web producers you’re going to work for in this, the 21st century. … Two spaces after a period has outlived its typewriter-era purpose. I don’t care what your English teachers said. (Mine said it too. So did my 9th-grade typing teacher. They were right then, but they’re wrong now.)”
— Hank Stuever to his upper-level class in the University of Montana’s excellent journalism program.
Stuever, writing in his class blog, also gave his students this link for more info. But here’s the long and short of it: Today’s writing tool is the computer. It already has sophisticated typology built into its programming, and it automatically puts more space after a period and before a following sentence. If you put in two spaces, you’ve effectively put in three.
That’s your business if you’re just writing your annual Christmas letter to relatives. But if you’re someone writing for work, a journal, a newsletter, a publication, even a letter to the newspaper editor, somebody is going to have to fix all your mistakes.
Teachers, stop teaching students to use two spaces at the end of a sentence. It’s WRONG!
Thanks for reading this. I feel better now.