Don’t Be a “Two-Spacer”

typewriter keys
Photo by CARYN MORGAN on

When you write a sentence then place the punctuation at the end, do you hit the spacebar once or twice? I am here to tell you today that you only need to hit the bar one time. Yes, people, once! Think of all the time you will save! Well, maybe not that much, but your written content will look more professional, cleaner, and modern.

One space at the end of a sentence is the newer, more efficient, and most importantly, correct practice. We all used to tap tap after the period because that is what we were taught, but the custom is old-fashioned, and not in a retro cool way, but in more of a grass-stained New Balance with faded jorts way. (No offense, Dads.)

Writing style is something you are free to make your own. Your voice, sentence length, and even some of your punctuation use, are a few components of your personal style. Consistency is the key to labeling your ways as your style. Some things, however, are just behind the times, like two spaces after a sentence, but I encourage you to do your own research.

Visit some websites of brands you respect and notice their style and format. Do they use two spaces or one? I’m not saying you won’t find two spaces after a sentence, but it won’t be in modern, large-scale publishing or in brands we all know and love, because most have evolved.

Until and even through the twentieth century, publishers and printers (not the plugin kind but the breathing, human type) used two spaces for clarity. It was then taught in schools when typewriters were the rage, and it even continued through our use of word processors and then computers, but it has fizzled out.

Old habits, right? They truly are difficult to stop. When I went to college in 2014, I was taught not to tap twice after a sentence, and it felt weird. I was in a constant fight with my muscle memory causing me to put serious effort into including only one space after the period, question mark, or exclamation point. It took some time until I was used to it, and it also took some time for me to see it on paper as normal.

Try it. Be modern. Be clean. Tap only once!

Read more about the history of using two spaces in this Master Class article by clicking HERE.

Published by Teresa Forester Adams

Hello, my friend. I am Teresa Adams. Currently, I live in Western Massachusetts, but I spent twenty years in Eastern North Carolina near Camp Lejeune and Topsail Island, so I call two places home. The beach with the warm salted air and the New England woods with crunchy brown leaves each call to me, so I answer to both. My name is also Jack and I have just a few trades. Writing is what I do best, but I also love to play songs on my red piano, walk barefoot in the woods that surround my house, and bake sweet treats like cream puffs and crème brûlée. There’s something about opening up a soft vanilla bean and scraping out the delicacies inside. I found a knack for using old items like quilts and jars to decorate new spaces, and I can knit anything with four rightish angles. The old me is someone who used to fight fire with the coolest group of people, and a girl who was married to a hero. I now attend Westfield State University as a non-traditional student with the most loving and talented group of professors and other English majors. When I have a moment, I play a card game called pitch with my four sons, sit with my many chickens who all have their own names like Norma Jean, Peow, and Djin Jarin, and the doors on my Jeep will be off from May until September. It is all wonderful therapy for some difficult writing I sometimes do. In the past year I began my memoir about my life as a war widow and committed to finishing it before summer opens her arms and buds. I will finish the book in order to clear my mind and make room for the next big venture, some freelance work, and upcoming important blog projects, which I’ll do at home. I currently live in an old white farmhouse next to a red barn with three of my four sons. My oldest graduated from North Carolina State and lives at the beach in North Carolina. We are kept company by three German shepherds, two cats who wear tuxedos, sixteen chickens, a few mice who live in the basement, and a bearded dragon, Ringo.

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