Posted by: episystechpubs | April 12, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Space Arguments

Oh my goodness! I never know when I’m going to touch a nerve with y’all, but apparently I did yesterday. I received quite a few emails from readers about the rule of using one space after a period, and most of them were not happy emails.

First, let’s calm ourselves down by looking at a photo of my new puppy, Harvey, and my old doggie, Bella. Deep breath. That’s it.

Now, for some official information:

· Our JHA Style Guide says to use one space after a colon or period.

· The Chicago Manual of Style, a reference we use, says to use one space after a colon or period.

· The Microsoft Manual of Style, also a reference we use, says: “Use only one space after a period in both printed and online content.”

I know; change can be difficult. I grew up using a manual typewriter, and then received an electric typewriter for my 18th birthday. Back then, when Courier New was the only font, two spaces made sense. Now we have many different fonts designed for printed and online material, and we don’t need that extra space. Get rid of it…it’s a pox on your paper!

If you’d like to hear from an expert, Grammar Girl has written an article on the topic here.

If you think the editors here won’t notice, well, we will. We’ve been posting about this topic for several years now, and we will go through your documents to search for (and replace) double spaces.

Still not convinced? Here are some past articles on the same topic. Viva la single space!

· https://episystechpubs.com/2013/01/08/editors-corner-one-space-period/

· https://episystechpubs.com/2014/11/20/nifty-nugget-how-many-spaces-after-a-period/

· https://episystechpubs.com/2013/04/26/editors-corner-rules-do-change/

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services


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