Okay folks, this one’s going to annoy some of you… You must stop double spacing after periods. Period.
The practice of putting two spaces at the end of a sentence is a throwback to the days of the typewriter. For those of you born after 1975, this is a typewriter:
Most of us over a certain age were taught to type before the days of computers. Back then there wasn’t an easy way to adjust spacing between letters, and every letter had the same amount of space on either side. For example, the letter w would have the same spacing as the letter i, which is wack. This is referred to as monospaced type. The extra space at the end of a sentence was used to visually signal a pause.
Most of today’s typefaces are designed with each letter’s spacing proportional to its shape. Therefore, that extra space after a sentence is not only unnecessary—it’s kinda fugly as well. Case in point: Courier is a monospaced typeface.
These extra spaces are particularly evident when you’re reading a paragraph or more. Once you become aware of it, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. Sentence after sentence of double spacing will stand out like little rows of hillbilly teeth.
Check it out:
“Hi. I am a paragraph of text with double spacing after periods. Am I a bit overdressed? Do these spaces make me look fat? I wonder if anyone notices my extra spaces. I know neurotic graphic designers do. Do they even count though?”