Friday, 1 October 2010

Sentence spacing

Sentence spacing is the horizontal space between sentences in typeset text.

Since the introduction of movable-type printing in Europe, various typographical conventions have been used in languages with a Latin-derived alphabet, including a normal word space (as between the words in a sentence), a single enlarged space, and two full spaces.

Although modern digital fonts can automatically set up visually pleasing and consistent spacing following terminal punctuation, most debate is about whether to strike a keyboard's spacebar once or twice between sentences.

Until the 20th century, publishing houses and printers in many countries used single, but enlarged, spaces between sentences. There were exceptions to this traditional spacing method-printers in some countries preferred single spacing. This was French spacing.

Double spacing, or placing two spaces between sentences, then came into widespread use with the introduction of the typewriter.

From around 1950, single sentence spacing became standard in books, magazines, newspapers, and webpages. Regardless, many still believe that double spaces are correct.

The majority of style guides opt for a single space after terminal punctuation for final and published work.


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