One space or two between sentences

Some people get quite passionate about how many spaces to put after a sentence-ending punctuation mark, but is there an absolute answer?

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Other than the use of the serial comma, perhaps no other style guideline causes more contention among writers and editors as that of how many spaces to use after a period.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about 10 writing pet peeves. Among them was content written with two spaces after a period. I always use the find-and-replace feature to change two spaces to one in documents that I edit.

My insistence on one space after a period (or question mark or the dreaded exclamation point) touched off a barrage of comments from PR Daily readers. Many insisted that one space after a period is just a preference and that two spaces makes content easier to read. Others quoted style guides—such as the AP Stylebook—that clearly state: “Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.”

James Felici—author of The Complete Manual of Typography—calls this “the debate that refuses to die … In all my years of writing about type, it’s still the question I hear most often, and a search of the web will find threads galore on the subject.” (1)

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.