Sunday, October 14, 2018

One Space or Two? That Isn't Even a Question

This has been a busy week for me! Funny how things work that way. Always with the cycles, the waxing and the waning. 

Not only did THE ARROWS OF THE HEART - the next novel in The Uncharted Realms - release on Tuesday, October 9, but we revealed the cover of SEASONS OF SORCERY on Thursday, October 11.  SEASONS OF SORCERY is a fantasy anthology I'm doing with Amanda Bouchet, Grace Draven, and Jennifer Estep. It releases November 13 and you can preorder on some retailers now!
My novella in the collection is THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER and is told from Harlan's point of view, in the aftermath of THE ARROWS OF THE HEART

THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDYAs unofficial consort to the High Queen, former mercenary Harlan Konyngrr faces a challenge worse than looming war and fearsome dragons. His long-held secrets threaten what he loves most—and he must make a choice between vows to two women.

As for today's topic? We're asking this week if we type two spaces or one after a period. This is an easy answer for me, because I'm not a freaking dinosaur.


Here's the thing: Yes, back in the day, before we had supercomputers on our cell phones, when we typed on typewriters instead of keyboards, then it was correct to type two spaces after a period. I learned it, too, in high school typing class. That's because typewriters created a fixed font page - which means all the letters all took up the same amount of space, regardless of their size. An "i" is skinnier than an "m," but in a fixed font system, they get the same amount of space on the page. Courier font is like this. Because all the letters get the same space, we typed two spaces after a period to make the sentence endings clear.

Once God came down from heaven and handed Moses a word-processing program, we were able to use proportional fonts. That means the letters take up only the space they need, in proportion to their size. Almost all fonts are proportional.

This is a fixed font.  Two spaces works to set the period apart.

This is a proportional font. You don't need two spaces to make it look right.  In fact, two spaces looks like a mistake.

One space after a period has been industry standard since I was an academic editor in the early 90s. For those not great at math, that's over 25 years now. A QUARTER OF A CENTURY.

And don't tell me it's a habit and you can't retrain yourself. You've learned how to work your desktop supercomputer, haven't you?

Hopefully you don't still have your hairstyle from back then either...

~peers through webcam~


  1. It's definitely muscle memory for me. I put two spaces after a period. The one-space after a period was never enforced during my tenure with Corporate Evil while drafting letters to clients, the IRS, etc. Even our staff attorneys used the two-space rule I figure I can either go with one space and sacrifice typing speed or use two spaces, keep my speed and correct the issue in the formatting stage. I figure, in the end, no one really cares. And no, I don't have my hairstyle from the 90s (lost the bangs ages ago). ;-)

    1. Yeah... I fixed your two spaces after the periods in your SEASONS OF SORCERY blurb. I know how you are. Fortunately, you're a cute and charming dinosaur.

  2. I'm a dinosaur then. I just had to concentrate to not put the two spaces in this reply.


  3. I am definitely Team Dinosaur. Working as a word processor in the mid- to late 1980's, often at law firms where two spaces were strictly required, ingrained that motion at a level which seems deeper than mere habit.

    It also made me see missing verbs in phrases like "You've how to work your desktop supercomputer".


    1. Ahaha! I love it when the "deeper than mere habit" people come out of the woodwork. I had the habit, too, for the same time period you did. I broke it an retrained. Habits are powerful forces. Having a good eye for copy edits is a different ability.

      We won't talk about your hair... :p