When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. "Who says two spaces is wrong?" they wanted to know.

    Typographers, that's who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences. That convention was not arrived at casually. James Felici, author of the The Complete Manual of Typography, points out that the early history of type is one of inconsistent spacing.

While the author provides a lot of evidence for why we should only use one space, does it really matter? Does the message still get across the same way, or does the distraction of two spaces vs one get in the way of the transferring of the message?


humanodon is right: slow news day. I'm not so worried about Farhad Manjoo's space obsession, but this line gave me a pause:

    I've removed enough extra spaces to fill my forthcoming volume of melancholy epic poetry, The Emptiness Within.
Tongue-in-cheek no doubt, but these little jokes come from somewhere. My guess is that he does have a collection of melancholy poetry. The title poem is called "The Emptiness Within." Rather than fill his big emptiness with drugs, alcohol, video games, poetry, or obsessive love relationships, he constructs superior-sounding typography articles to show how smart and informed he is. I worry for him and his emptiness. I will write him and ask for his poem. I'll keep you posted how that goes.

His previous article was called Why Men Should Wear Makeup.

posted 2312 days ago