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I could be an arrogant d??? and say I told you so, and I rest my case. At least I am not so strong willed as that article in the URL you provided Virgil 8-) .

But honestly I was taught from my first days learning a language some 50 years ago to use only one space, and through my time on this planet this has been re-inforced, along seeing what it does in digital documents in my career.

As an experiment for anyone to try, just use a document written in the most basic of editors, the text editor, save it as a .txt, then open it with a word processor, anyone of your choice, then save it to an .rtf etc. Try this with a number of formats, then reverse the process, save as a .doc first then try and port it down to a basic text document, and watch how the core basic punctuation / spacing is altered so radically. Even as to the way we create digital documents, it seems every app/tool we use has a different concept on punctuation and spelling. Even this email copied and pasted to a word processor has it's own rules and will be altered in some way.

This is what I was trying to cover in my reply on this subject a few emails back. Punctuation is becoming an issues in all forms of digital documentation and different languages, and my personal observation, non worse than the English language affected. Never mind adding that garbage mobile phone texting vocabulary many seem to have adopted and use, along with the total loss of punctuation in this as well, to the issues we are discussing here.


Andrew Brown

On 16/08/2013 02:23 PM, Virgil Arrington wrote:
On 08/16/2013 03:06 AM, Brian Barker wrote:
o I would suggest that two spaces are probably useful with fixed-pitch text as on a typewriter, especially when the sentence-ending full stop will be spaced so far from the last character of the sentence. So that's why we all learned that way. But that no longer applies with proportional fonts. (I still use double spaces in e-mail messages, since I send them as plain text and have no control how they are displayed by recipients.)

o In justified text, there is no such thing as a "single space" anyway: the size of the space between words depends on what happens to occur in the line. So there is no meaning to "two spaces" either: your word processor may permit you to include two consecutive space characters, but two spaces on one line could end up narrower than a single space on the next.

Brian Barker


Very well put, Brian, especially your observations about justified text. Using two spaces on a justified line can sometimes end up with a grand canyon of space between sentences.

A quick online search uncovered the following article about the evolution of the practice (along with a whole slew of articles that agreed):


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