Over the last few years I have had a repeating conversation with people about how many spaces to put after a period. It surprising to me how many times I have had to argue this correction, but I know I am right I’m willing to point this out.
So that I might go on record on this one, I am pointing to two examples to prove that I am not the only person in the world that has considered this…
First, grab your iPhone or iPad, open the email program, type a sentence and then tap the space bar twice. Notice what happens? It added a period and deleted the extra space. If you don’t have an iOS device, I just tested this on a Samsung Note 2 in the email app and it works – so I think that Android (at least on this Samsung gets it). Think about what this means. Somewhere, a team that developed a keyboard realized they could hack peoples behavior (almost everyone I have talked to pointed to their high school typing class as where they learned the two space rule) and correct it with software. If two spaces were right your iPhone would leave the spaces in… it doesn’t
The next is the amazing article on Slate. The bolding is mine. Take the next three and a half minutes to read this great piece… and then save yourself the trouble of tapping Space Space for the rest of your life.
“Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period. (The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, used widely in the social sciences, allows for two spaces in draft manuscripts but recommends one space in published work.) Most ordinary people would know the one-space rule, too, if it weren’t for a quirk of history. In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace. To accommodate that machine’s shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong. And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do. (Also see the persistence of the dreaded Caps Lock key.)
Now if I could get P. F. Chang’s to take the damn pull handles off the inside of their doors (you have to push to leave) and the folks that make microwaves to get rid of the panel of useless buttons I would feel that I made a good impact this year.