Posted by: Jack Henry | January 8, 2013

Editor’s Corner: One space. Period.

Little did I know that yesterday’s topic of (one) space after a period would cause such an uproar! I received countless e-mails from readers. Some folks were thankful and said they’d try to switch to one space; others were adamant about using two spaces “I’ll give up placing two spaces after sentences when they pry my mouse from my cold dead hands!” And one person asked if we could design a 12-step program to help ease the pain of letting the extra space go.

Considering all of that, I’m taking a step back to a (hopefully) safer punctuation mark: the period. Child’s play, you say? Well, I’m here to tell you that some people just don’t like ending their sentences and they habitually leave the period off. Others aren’t sure if they should put an extra period when the sentence ends with an abbreviation. Here are three simple rules to help you (rules from; examples mine):

· Rule 1: Use a period at the end of a complete sentence that is a statement.

Example: I made a new sweater for my dog.

Photo from

· Rule 2: If the last word in the sentence ends in a period, do not follow it with another period.


o After ten years, Jodi earned her Ph.D. We threw a party for her on June 30.

o I added ginger, mint, fish sauce, etc.

· Rule 3: Use the period after an indirect question.

Example: She asked where we kept the butter.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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