by EMILY FODOR
The conspiracy behind the number of spaces following a period surfaces. All my life, as a well-rounded American, I’ve lived in a world where two spaces following a period was not only accepted, but correct….or so I thought.
When I was a youngin’, my mother and father always reminded me to put a double space between sentences. It’s just how life was, it was a way of life. However, news is surfacing that my childhood may be a lie. That’s right. False, incorrect, TRAGIC.
Ms. Speizer, my journalism teacher and life-ruiner, has now informed me that only one space goes between sentences. Ms. Speizer claims that “MLA format, as well as proper grammar, only calls for one space.” I completely disagree with this statement, so much so that we bet a whopping five dollars. After interviewing multiple language experts, I’ve arrived at some results.
Professional Mrs. Kimberly Ruotolo says, “I think that Ms. Speizer is wrong. Even her AP teacher thinks she is wrong.”
Fortunately, after conducting some research, I have found the truth. Although Ms. Speizer claims that MLA wants only one space, American Psychological Association disagrees. In normal writing, the Purdue OWL: APA Formatting & Style Guide claims, “Regarding punctuation in manuscript drafts, APA suggests using two spaces after periods ending sentences to aid readability.”
However, I will admit the same website says journalistic writing only calls for a space once. As Ms. Speizer is an expert in that section of writing, teaching multiple classes of Journalism 1 and 2, I understand her oh-so-colossal confusion. It’s alright, we all make mistakes.
The conclusion of this controversy between one space and two is a battle of the style guides. My entire life, I have learned that two spaces is a way of life, and I continue to believe that, as well as many other linguistic instructors.
One space, not two
by DANA SPEIZER
Do not listen to the Liar-in-Chief, which I have nick-named Ms. Fodor, above. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
First of all, Ms. Fodor is a drama queen. She makes a big deal out of the littlest thing, such as complaining and whining about how her spork bends when she’s trying to cut chicken. Why are you using a spork when eating chicken anyway???
Second, I NEVER said that supposed quote she attributed to me up there. Ms. Fodor just likes to make stuff up. She cannot be trusted!
That’s why you shouldn’t listen to her when she says to double-space after a period. I have been writing essays for much longer than Ms. Fodor, and I’ve been an English teacher for several years. I think I know better than her.
While double spacing after a period is not completely wrong, it is unecessary. Back when people were typing on typewriters, each key took up an equal amount of space, so it was necessary to double space after a period to avoid sentences looking smashed together. However, with the advent of computers and word processors, we no longer need to double space after a period. Your computer knows an ‘m’ does not occupy the same amount of space as an ‘i’, so the word processor will space appropriately after a period.
Ms. Fodor is right about one thing, though. The Modern Language Association does prefer one space after a period, though two is not completely wrong. Even the Chicago Manual of Style advocates the one space rule, saying that two is unnecessary!
However, she is wrong about APA style. According to Sarah Wiederkehr on apa.org, while two spaces is recommended in draft manuscripts, ” the usual convention for published works remains one space after each period.”
Personally, I find double spacing after a period makes the paper aesthetically unpleasing. It looks as if there are holes in the essay. Again, while two spaces is not wrong, per se, one space is preferred, WHICH IS WHAT I WAS ARGUING THE WHOLE TIME.