I have a new pet peeve. Maybe not a pet peeve because it really doesn’t bother me, but something that stands out to me now like a sore thumb whenever I read e-mails, websites, blogs, and even some publications. Maybe because I used to do it so frequently, and once it was brought to my attention I was wrong, I notice it all the time now. Either that, or the fact my publisher hat makes me look at writing in a new light.
In any case a few years back I was doing some research prior to my first novel. As I studied typography, I was told that when I type I should only leave one space after the period. I am still fairly young, but growing up I was always told you hit space(bar) twice after a period. Now this late in life, I learn that is incorrect. Still stubborn and stuck in my ways, trying to deny what was inevitable, I went to my wife and complained. My lady, who is a couple years younger than I, told me she was taught one space, then continued to joke about my age.
Now ordinarily this wouldn’t be something that one would really be that concerned over. Not that serious really….that is unless you submitted an entire manuscript to discover you have to redo it (which after time realized I could just do a replace function). In any case, I needed to learn why this was. Why were we taught wrong? All my friends confessed they were taught two spaces just like I was. I was on a google quest to find out why.
Well, sad to say I don’t have much to report back to you. Chicago Manual of style and various other sources will confirm it is indeed one space, but the only justification I located (on a forum) to why we were taught two spaces was in our era – we were taught on typewriters.