Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Don't be a publisher's nightmare. One space at the end of a sentence is plenty!

My mum always taught me to put two spaces after a full-stop, just as she was taught to do in typing school in the 1960s. But when I started working in marketing and brochure production in the late 1990s, I quickly learnt to stop this bad habit. Times had changed and one full-stop is now sufficient for modern typefaces. Two full-stops cause ugly gaps in the text and creates more work for your editor or graphic designer, who has to go through your work, taking them all out!

In the modern world, publishers want just one full stop. Don't be 'traditional' and give them two. After I was told once, I didn't dare do it again, yet in 2015, some publishers are still battling to get the message across to their contributors!

The editors of Chicken Soup for the Soul have sent the following message to their contributors, in their September newsletter...

"Did you take typing in high school? We did, and we were taught to add two spaces after a period. It turns out that is very “old school.” Everyone over 40 was taught to add two spaces; many people under 40 were taught to add only one space after a period.

"Here’s why: In the old days, we didn’t have word processors and  fonts   that   automatically   spaced   themselves   nicely,   so   it  sometimes  wasn’t  clear  that  there  was  indeed  a  space  after  a  period.  Now,  with  most  fonts  it  is  crystal  clear.  And  that  extra  space  at  the  end  of   sentence wastes  space,  spaces  that  add  up  over the course of  a newspaper article or a 400-page book.

"No  matter  what  you  were  taught,  and  how  diligently  you  put  two  spaces  after  every  period,  stop  doing  it!  We  have  to  go  through  all  the  stories  and  remove  those  extra  spaces.  AP  style, Chicago style, and every other up-to-date source will tell you the same  thing—put  one  space  at  the  end  of   a  sentence! 

"Thank you."

I don't think I need to say any more! This is 2015, not the 1960s. Don't do what my mum did in the typing pool. Get up-to-date with the modern world! One full-stop is enough.