Breaking a Spacing Habit

@OneOfMany (12426)
United States
May 6, 2016 1:39pm CST
Growing up I was taught to use 2 spaces after a period and I have rather been using it all this time, but I guess a lot of people have issues with it now that its been declared 1 only. Some even get really nasty about it. For work I always have been using one, but for casual I use two, mainly because it's kind of habit to put both (and a sort of punctuation in itself, I completed a line!). It's so ingrained that while writing this I routinely put in a double skip after each period. Is anyone else finding they are still stuck on the double space habit?
Main Content Chicago Style Q&A: New Questions and Answers Search The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition 16th edition 15th edition Display All Answers Q. Please help. I have confusion regarding the correct spacing after periods and other closing punctuat
15 people like this
17 responses
• United States
6 May 16
Double space is the only way I roll! That would be so difficult a habit to stop. Who made this new rule of single space. I do use single space when I am texting and am trying to get my message in one screen.
3 people like this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
I guess the double space was for typewriters when the words were so close together, and now it's not needed with the different font sizes. In books and magazines where space is tight, and they want manualscripts to be 1 space so there's less of it... or something? I was editing a document for another person and it was all single space, so I looked up if that's the way it is or not. I guess so!
2 people like this
• United States
6 May 16
@OneOfMany omg, I don't think I will be able to break this habit. LOL
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
@ElusiveButterfly I have it naturally ingrained in my typing styles that I don't even think about a double space. In fact entering one space feels kind of wrong.
@OKennedy (1145)
• United States
6 May 16
I don't worry about it if they don't like it they don't have to read it. I don't know why some people get so bent out of shape.
2 people like this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
I only have to consider it because I'm trying to publish. I don't want to upset readers who notice the double-space. :P
1 person likes this
@OKennedy (1145)
• United States
6 May 16
@OneOfMany I guess it is a matter of preference. I mostly focus on the words more than I do on the grammar.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
7 May 16
@OKennedy When it's not important I just write as well. But if I want to publish on the next stage I get to worry about more than just preference. It's okay, it's better knowing ahead of time.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47789)
• Centralia, Missouri
7 May 16
that double space thing at the end of a sentence was hammered into me too. I must have stopped doing it at some point, because I don't believe I do anymore.
2 people like this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
8 May 16
I'm having trouble converting because it feels good too! My poor thumb has less work now that it only gets to space once.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
8 May 16
@OneOfMany it was deff a habit, one that I thought I still did, I have a feeling that habit was broken when I worked at the paper, being I'd have to go correct them all
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
8 May 16
@Jessicalynnt It's funny because for work I single space and for casual I double space. Only because for work every space is crucial because it's a magazine.
2 people like this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
6 May 16
I took a typing class in high school, so without saying how long ago that was you can still guess. I was taught always 2 spaces after a period and when indenting on your paragraph it was always 5 spaces. I know that things change through the generations but us more mature folks are used to the way things were, and we can't read minds. I had no idea that it changed, although my daughter was doing a report and had me proof it and I think I told her that she needed 2 spaces at the end of a period. I believe she said she didn't and I left it at that, since she was acing the class.
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
I was reading one article and it said something about people being over 40 using the double space rule. I thought that was rude since I'm still 33 and it was taught. Some people are pretty uptight about these grammar shifts the rest of us have no idea what is happening! I can't believe how many times a year it shifts around. I have a feeling they are insecure about something because they change rules back and forth a few times before finally picking something. It's kind of like the government and laws. One day you are doing something and the next you are committing a crime because they changed the law on you and expect you to magically know.
1 person likes this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
6 May 16
@OneOfMany, well that would explain it for me since I'm over the age of 40. I would be one of the clueless, nothing new there.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
@beaniefanatic13 It doesn't explain for me since I was still taking university classes 5 years ago and I don't remember if they had an issue with spacing or not!
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16717)
• Ireland
6 May 16
Lol.. erm some scientific journal mandate you use 2..
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
7 May 16
Haha, then that's interesting. As I said to someone else tonight, Chicago can't even run their own city, why do they get to make grammar rules for others?
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16717)
• Ireland
7 May 16
@OneOfMany I think its Journal of Immunology or something like this, where they are really annal about punctuations
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
8 May 16
@Drosophila I guess that shows that not everyone likes 'universal' rules!
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21625)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
6 May 16
My phone puts a full-stop before a double-space... And I have not been taught that at school, but years of reporting weekly status has ingrained the habit in my writing too.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
I still like the double space, but I will get used to not using it too. For now I know I can do Find Replace for my documents that need to be updated.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21625)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
6 May 16
@OneOfMany The dot-space-space still comes as a habit when I am using the big keyboard on my desktop pc, even at the end of a line or para.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
@pgntwo Fortunately I read that you can easily use the Find Replace function and replace the doubles with singles. It works well. My one document I just converted had 484, so that would have taken a while to adjust.
1 person likes this
@zarlamain (24527)
• United States
7 May 16
I didn't know the difference between its and it's unless the 11th grade when my English teacher suddenly snapped at me in front of the entire school. That was just something. I never had an issue with the double space habit. I have some grammar issues though.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
7 May 16
A lot of people have the issues. I still can't remember the i before e rule in its entirety!
1 person likes this
@zarlamain (24527)
• United States
7 May 16
@OneOfMany I know! I am always learning new grammar rules online or at work and I'm like, wow, really? I never knew that. I get surprised a lot and realize what a long way I have to go. Maybe that's why I switched my major from English to management in college. I would never make a good English teacher.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
7 May 16
@zarlamain Well in terms of grammar I think we'll never be as knowledgeable as we want to be. Teachers think that once they have their knowledge that's good for their careers. But they should really have updaters and refresher courses that they can take online, just to make sure the newer generations are learning what they need to.
1 person likes this
@annierose (17692)
• Philippines
13 May 16
I do not have trouble with spacing in my written works. I have more trouble on how to express myself more effectively.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
13 May 16
Expressing oneself is the normal trouble. If we could all do it easily then we would be proficient writers and there would be no need to train!
1 person likes this
@annierose (17692)
• Philippines
14 May 16
@OneOfMany I agree. It is a step by step process. Something that we cannot learn in a snap of a finger. Thus, one must be dedicated and focused in order to have a good output.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
14 May 16
@annierose I didn't put much effort into it, it just developed over time from repetition of use. :)
1 person likes this
@euphie (581)
• Ballymena, Northern Ireland
8 May 16
I always thought it was two as well - I've always done that
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
8 May 16
For most people 1 or 2 doesn't really matter. It only matters in published works, graded projects and scientific journals, etc. If you are writing stories for yourself and publishing posts here, it doesn't make any difference at all. If you put 3 spaces in, I think people would start to notice!
@euphie (581)
• Ballymena, Northern Ireland
8 May 16
@OneOfMany yeah, 3 is a little too many!
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
9 May 16
@euphie People would probably get confused about what they were reading.
@polyxena (2576)
• Sturgis, Michigan
6 May 16
I used to put two spaces after my period. I don't now if I became lazy or decided to follow what everyone else is doing but I've only been putting one.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
Sounds like you adapted naturally. Or texting helped change people.
@polyxena (2576)
• Sturgis, Michigan
6 May 16
@OneOfMany I don't text, or I should say hardly text. I never caught on to all this new wave stuff, I think they may have stated something about it when I was in high school almost 15 years ago about only using one space instead.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
@polyxena Odd since my high school and even my college never seemed to care about it. I guess they were more interested in seeing if the material was right over space concerns.
@marguicha (92131)
• Chile
6 May 16
I was taught that there was only one space. But What I cannot understand is that someone can get nasty fighting for a space after a period.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
I was reading their article and I couldn't make it a quarter of the way through. They were calling people that use two spaces idiots and harsher names. I wasn't sure what all the excitiment was all about!
1 person likes this
@marguicha (92131)
• Chile
6 May 16
@OneOfMany I´d report the post. We don´t need those people here.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
@marguicha It wasn't here or I would. It was on the broader jungle of the internet!
@slund2041 (3380)
• United States
8 May 16
People tend to get nasty if the sun doesn't shine the way they think it should. I was always taught one space after a period, but see no harm if you want to use two spaces. People will always have something to complain about.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
8 May 16
It's not vital for communication or a scientific breakthrough (like knowing the world is round and not flat) that affects everyday life. It's just another one of those changes people like to add in.
7 May 16
I only put one now. I was taught to double space, but that was in the olden days. I think it looks neater with just one space, but I'm not fussed over which one others use. It should be down to personal choice, particularly in more casual use.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
7 May 16
Well in casual actual words and punctuation are already so appreciated that a space or two goes unnoticed! I have an ex that would write all in one continuous sentence... It drives me crazy even thinking about it.
@Lolaze (3165)
• United States
6 May 16
I was taught the same way and it looks so wrong to only see one space after a sentence. I will keep using two spaces until I die!
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
Well we hate to think of being taught at the beginning and then having people later say that it is wrong. After all, the rules for typing were made for 2 at the beginning so it could be read. Is it wrong when people change the font and expect the rules to change as well?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (103312)
• United States
6 May 16
I must be out of the loop since I always do the two spaces.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
Well if I hadn't read the rule I would still be using two. Apparently they decided to cement the style this year. I guess.
1 person likes this
@NJChicaa (38491)
• United States
6 May 16
I didn't know we weren't supposed to use 2 spaces any longer.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12426)
• United States
6 May 16
Well it's not like anyone announces these things. It seems they just expect us to look up the rules all the time. It seems these days everyone is taught to only use one space. Two spaces was a thing because of typewriters, but it carried over to computer usage, and after a while they decided it was a waste of space.
@pgiblett (6595)
• Canada
18 May 16
That was the rule I learned when I learned to type, That said ever since using the first word processor I have learned to to double space, because if you do it causes the program problems with letter spacing and word processors are best at sorting that all out on their own (and I have known them to remove double spaces as well). Personally I broke the double space habit a long time ago.