# Double space after period?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by madanthonywayne, Nov 2, 2010.

1. ### superstring01Moderator

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12,110
The forum software edits them out in the web rendering.

Example:
Double Space: 1 1
Trippe Space: 1 1
Quintuple Space: 1 1
Fifty Spaces: 1 1

String

[quote or edit my text to see my real spacing]

3. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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24,648
That's what happens, yep. Fucking piece of shit refuses to do what I tell it to. The geniuses at Microsoft apparently never actually write much - they process words, or something.

On the touch typing: I {one would prefer more space after the colon there, of course} have recently become dyslexic when I type - reversing the order of letters too frequently to dismiss. So I can't touch type the way I used to. I hope its a passing phase.

(My father insisted his sons learn to type - from his experience in the army, he figured the skill would keep them safely out of combat.)

5. ### John99BannedBanned

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22,046
I put two spaces after a period just because it looks better and makes paragraphs easier to read. Not too concerned about what is considered to be right though. I thought it was funny seeing people put a space after a question mark or using this  for a apostrophe when it should be this '. This is something you see from the Europeeans thoguh.

7. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member

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Not sure if its directed to me as well as string. I usually just type out the words first and then edit it for punctuation like double space after period and paragraph adjustment. I'm not a conventional typist, just a hunt and peck one, so I am more used to word processing for presentation. There is no facility for me to select all period+space and replace them with period+space+space on the forums.

8. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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13,101
Code:
This is indeed true unless you utilise CODE tags which attempt to output the written text in monospace's.  Personally I still prefer using double spaces because sometimes you can never trust just a filter for formatting.

OooooooO
o      o
o      o
OooooooO`

9. ### John99BannedBanned

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22,046
another interesting thin i notice mainy from Europeans is they use two ellipses as opposed to three as seen in the example below:

...

I was always under the impression it was (...). Also i notice Europeans are more likely to use ect. as opposed to etc. but this is less prominent than the first few things i noticed.

10. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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24,690
That's normal. Half the things we do rely on "muscle memory," synapses that have been formed in the brain stem from repetitive actions. They fire much more quickly than if they have to be processed in the forebrain. For example, you couldn't play a musical instrument if you had to think consciously about every little movement; nobody can think that fast.

If you're just having a bad day from lack of sleep or something like that, and your automatic typing skill has deteriorated, you have to go much slower in order to do it consciously with a significantly lower error rate.
I make a living as a writer and use MS Word all day long. It allows you to use two spaces. Of course the grammar/spelling checker will always highlight it as an error! I don't do it anymore; every place I've worked for the past fifteen years has standarized on one space instead of two.
It would look totally out of place if it's not also used after the much more frequently occurring period.

Remember, these rules were developed for the old-fashioned typewriters, which gave every character the same width--today we call that font "Courier" and we avoid using it at all costs because it is indeed old-fashioned. When your lower case i and l occupy the same amount of line space as your w and m, your readers have a real problem scanning the sentence: a single space after a period isn't much wider than the aggregate space between an i and an l in the middle of a word, so it doesn't stand out. So you have to type two spaces.

But with a word processor you've got the same proportional fonts and kerning (e.g., the letter combination LW overlaps because of their accommodating shapes) used in publishing. The letters occupy only as much room as they need so the eye flows more smoothly along a line of text. A single space is the widest blank spot in the whole paragraph, so it stands out.
It won't happen by itself, because what's occurring is that the synapses in your brain stem--way below the level of consciousness--are reprogramming themselves. You'll have to devote conscious effort to this. Slow down enormously, and carefully type the letters in the right order, so your brain stem gets re-accustomed to doing it right. Then you can speed up and see if it's still coming out right. Eventually it will become automatic again.
Never thought of that, but I had a similar experience. They tried to draft me during Vietnam, but with my degree in accounting the recruiters were delighted to sign me up for Air Force Officer Candidate School and I would have spent the whole war in an office far from the front. Fortunately I had a poorly-healed fracture that disqualified me from the whole sordid business.
That won't work with American English word processors. If you type ... into MS Word it compacts it into an ellipsis character with the dots right next to each other. (The SciForums engine can't display this.) If you type only two periods, that won't happen.
That's a typographical error in any language. Etc. is an abbreviation of Latin et cetera, meaning literallly "and the others." Since the ampersand, &, is a combination of E and T, a compaction of et that was used as an abbreviation for "and," et cetera was written &c until about 100 years ago. At that point "etc." began to be used instead.

11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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24,648
I seldom use Word - too much hassle. Notepad, or whatever came with the box.

When I do use Word, I disable the error highlighting, any automatic spelling/grammar correction (christ almighty), and other sources of real trouble a well as cognitive irritation.

Yep. And it looks totally squashed and poorly presented as is. So - - -

12. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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I'd recommend Wordpad over Notepad, FWIW. But mostly because it can handle both MS and UNIX line breaks.

That was exactly the rationale my parents gave as well.

13. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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When your company standardizes on MS Word and it's the only word processor installed on everyone's workstation, you use it.

I used to take work home so I'd just do it on WordPerfect and save it as a .doc file. It's apparently not too difficult to figure out that someone has done that if it's something you really care about. I almost got fired for it.

Law offices, on the other hand, generally use WordPerfect because it's more trustworthy, and it's somewhat easier to build their deeply nested numbered lists. I still miss "Reveal Codes." You don't have to figure out what you're doing wrong, you can just go in and fix it with a sledgehammer.

14. ### rcscwcRegistered Senior Member

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Whatever the puritans preach, I use double space after a period. Period. And nobody in my office bothered. It makes readability better.

My attitude might be unscientific, but I implore Fraggle not to ban me.

15. ### Gremmie"Happiness is a warm gun"Valued Senior Member

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Space with tags?

16. ### Mr MacGillivrayBannedBanned

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Europeans invented etcetera.

17. ### Gremmie"Happiness is a warm gun"Valued Senior Member

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It comes from Latin, to be exact.. "et ceteri"...(and the others)

18. ### rcscwcRegistered Senior Member

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721
As they invented place value decimals.

Equivalent of etc has been in India far longer than Europe was called Europe.

Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
19. ### Mr MacGillivrayBannedBanned

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Where do you think latin comes from?

20. ### Gremmie"Happiness is a warm gun"Valued Senior Member

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I was merely saying which language it was derived from...Many languages in Europe.

21. ### Mr MacGillivrayBannedBanned

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(i knew, just kidding).

Etcetera is overrated though. It is usually a sign of bad writing.

22. ### Gremmie"Happiness is a warm gun"Valued Senior Member

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I guess I resemble that remark ..I do use it now and then.

Then again, I never claimed to be a great writer..

23. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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24,690
Cetera is the neuter-gender inflection of ceteri, "(the) others." But the phrase et cetera was coined as is, with the neuter gender deemed appropriate in this context. It was never et ceteri.
It is overused but it serves a valuable function. The literal English translation is "and the others," but since the expression has transcended this strict meaning, it is almost never used. Closer vernacular translations are "and so on" and "and so forth," but these are regarded as too colloquial to use in any writing except the most informal. Therefore, a good writer must use "etc."

Common errors to avoid:
• ... and etc. Since et means "and," this is redundant.
• ... etc., etc. This is only used in colloquial speech, with two opposite meanings. 1) The list is so long that I don't want to bore you with it; 2) I want to bore you with my pompous manner of speaking.
• ... colors with made-up names, such as sand, eggshell, Navajo white, etc. The phrases "such as," "for example" and the abbreviation "e.g." (exempli gratia, Latin for "for the sake of example") make it clear that the following list must be understood to be incomplete. To add "etc." to it is redundant.
Not an error: i.e., sand, eggshell, Navajo white, etc." The abbreviation "i.e." (for id est, Latin "it is") is used to mean "in other words" and implies that the following list is slavishly accurate. So if it is incomplete then you must use "etc." to fulfill your promise of accuracy. Otherwise you're saying that those three colors are the only ones there.

Last edited: Nov 16, 2010