The Nitty-Gritty of Writing: Spacing

It’s time for another nitty-gritty of writing post! Craft of writing and storytelling is important, world-building is important, and generally being creative is important. But so is the boring stuff like punctuation and spacing.

Spacing: One Space or Two?

Many people reading this, when learning to type, may have been taught to put two spaces after a period. Two spaces after a period harkens back to the 19th century (and earlier) when typesetters at printing houses had blocks of a fixed size to represent each letter and each punctuation mark. Typewriters were the same way. Even well into the 20th century, and even after typewriters and typesetting became more adjustable, the convention was still to put two spaces after a period.

On modern computers we can have proportional font – that is, wider letters like “W” take up more space than narrow letters like “I.” In fact, proportional font is usually the default setting in many word processing programs and on internet platforms. Older typewriters and typesetting generally had a monospaced font (each letter or other mark took up the same amount of space on the page); therefore, double spacing after a period made the text easier to read. Continue reading

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