14 January 2011

Spaces are like yo-yo strings...

You only need one at a time.

Bravo to Farhad Manjoo at Slate for his analysis of double spacing after periods.

“Who says two spaces is wrong?” they wanted to know.

Typographers, that’s who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences.

He goes on to track how this strange convention emerged with the appearance of the manual typewriter, and how this dysfunctional behaviour has persisted for the same reasons so many others have persisted: people repeating bad habits they grew up with.

I thank goodness that the people working on HTML knew this, and made pages render so that multiple spaces are condensed into one.

Hat tip to Björn Brembs. Photo by by ollily on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.

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