I read a blog a few weeks ago, at least I think it was a few weeks ago, about the double space between a period and the start of the next sentence. I grew up with teachers telling me to put two spaces after a period. And that is what I did for a long time. Then one day I read an article that it was wrong and I only needed one space.
Then, I was writing for an online magazine my friends and I had started and our editor told me that I was doing it wrong and there were two spaces after a period.
Needless to say, I was so terribly confused by the whole situation. I didn’t know what to think anymore. So, I just went the old route and continued to put two spaces after a period. Then I read the blog about how we no longer have to do it.
Again…confusion!! Actually, at this point it was more frustration than anything. I didn’t know who to believe. I liked the idea of only needing one space after a period. It would save so much time. And I wouldn’t put a double period at the end of a sentence because I was typing to fast and forgot what key to press…it happens to everyone right?
I got tired of it. So I went on a search for the truth and I found it! In several articles and explanations, I finally found out why two spaces after the period is no longer needed and I thought I would share it with you!
Most of our parents were raised in a world without home computers. They did not sit at their desk and type away on a computer that they shared with the rest of the family. Nope, I hate to break it to you all, but computers are still fairly new to the world. I still have friends that don’t have computers! Which is ridiculous since they can be so cheap now.
Instead of sitting at a computer and typing away at a keyboard, they typed away at a typewriter. Let me just say, I love love love typewriters. I love the sounds they make and the fact that it takes so much more time to fix a mistake. There is just something amazing and magical about them.
When typewriters were created, all the letters took up the same amount of space. Letters could be spaced out like t h i s. A space between words took up just as much space. So, in order for people to show a difference between another word and a sentence, two spaces were used after a period.
Now that we have computers and the letters are nicely side by side the double space is no longer needed.
It makes sense if I don’t think about it too hard. But if I dig a little deeper into my mind, it starts to make no sense at all why we ever used two spaces. Sure, there is an explanation, but my mind just can’t take it for what it is.
Anyways, there you go. The reason only one space is needed after a period. I have actually adapted fairly well to the new world of one space. I have adapted so well that I wonder if I ever used two spaces at all. Maybe the world isn’t even real, it’s all in my mind. Maybe the matrix is harvesting my body! (P.S. I swear I found the picture after I wrote the post. I actually looked around my room to make sure no one was watching me. I think I will be turning my computer off tonight, unplugging it and possibly moving it completely out of my room.)