I have something that may shock you. Are you sitting down?

Many people will argue, most will disagree, and some fights may break out. The reason for the conflict is that the things that we learn get so ingrained within us that we will defend them even if they aren’t true. 

What am I referring to? Are you ready? 

Only one space is needed after a period in a sentence. I will repeat that: only one space should come after a period in a sentence. 

Most of us have been taught to place two spaces at the end of every sentence. This is because most people in earlier generations learned to type on a typewriter which had monospaced letters. Every letter and every character took up the same amount of horizontal space, therefore two spaces were needed in order to space sentences properly.

Unless you are typing on an actual typewriter, you no longer have to put two spaces after a period. Somehow we passed that habit onto the next generation, and the pattern repeats.

If you were to open up any correctly produced book in any bookstore worldwide — this includes newspapers, bibles, and other publications – you will see one space after the period. If by slim to no chance there are two, blame the typing instructor or student.

Why are two spaces incorrect you ask? It creates an unsightly, unnecessary gap in the text. The eyes automatically know when it sees a period, and it signals that the next sentence is coming up.

So next time you write an article, design a PowerPoint slide, or produce a brochure, be sure to insert one space after the period. Period! It is a habit that will be challenging to break, but can help you look more professional.

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