A Space Makes All the Difference

7

We’ve all seen the Punctuation Matters gags already. Well, a recent Facebook discussion showed me that spacing matters too.

I had made a typically insightful comment regarding the election, and my friend replied:

I can’t agree with you anymore.

He later confirmed that what he really meant was,

I can’t agree with you any more.

That little space changes the meaning of the sentence entirely, doesn’t it?

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About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Hannah
    Hannah12-08-2012

    Wow, that does make a significant difference.

    I prefer a double space after periods, but I’m learning to conform to standard practice.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko12-11-2012

      Well, just know that computer programs automatically widen the space after a period (you can see it if you look carefully). It’s not that custom has reduced the space, it’s that technology does it without us having to hit the space bar twice! ­čÖé

  2. Brian Wasko
    Brian Wasko11-09-2012

    As a father of four teen daughters, I am reluctant to tell you that you are correct. ­čÖé

    The double-space after a period (and colon) went out with the typewriter and the advent of proportional fonts in word-processing software.

    If it makes him feel any better, it took me a long time to unlearn the automatic double-thumb tap after every period.

    May this information bring great peace and harmony to your home forevermore!

    • Amy
      Amy11-14-2012

      Are you sure that is right? Who says? I just edited a document and added 2 spaces after every period! It looks better!

      • Brian Wasko
        Brian Wasko11-14-2012

        Quite sure, Amy. I’ve already scheduled a post for tomorrow (Nov. 15, 2012) that explains further. Do a Google search and you’ll be able to confirm my position.

        Understand — it’s not wrong to hit two spaces after a period if you prefer it. It is simply no longer considered standard procedure.

        The MLA, for one, agrees: http://www.mla.org/style/style_faq/mlastyle_spaces

  3. Sophia
    Sophia11-09-2012

    Hi, I have a question. When my dad and I work on various writing projects together, we always end up hotly debating the question of spacing after punctuation. I say that there should be a single space after both a period and a comma, and he says that there should be two spaces after a period, and one after a comma.
    Which is correct?

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