Do You Put One Space or Two Spaces Between Sentences? Either Way, You Should Visit Butterick's Practical Typography

In addition to writing at Just a Catholic Family, I'm serving as the administrator for a blog called The Kindling. In that role, I review and prepare other people's written work for publication.

Some People Are Using Two Spaces Between Sentences

I have noticed that a typographic rule that I take for granted is not followed by many others:

The rule that there should be only one space between sentences.

I view this as an opportunity.



You Should Visit Matthew Butterick's Practical Typography

If you are a writer and are putting two spaces after a period, then this is my chance to introduce you to one of my heros: Matthew Butterick — lawyer, coder, typographer.

Butterick addresses the one-space-between-sentences rule at his site Butterick's Practical Typography. He expresses the rule clearly: 

Always put exactly one space between sentences.

Butterick goes on to say:

Some say the habit orig­i­nated in the type­writer era. Oth­ers be­lieve it be­gan ear­lier. But guess what? It doesn’t mat­ter. Be­cause ei­ther way, it’s not part of to­day’s ty­po­graphic prac­tice.

Think About Buying Typography for Lawyers Even if You're Not a Lawyer

Practical Typography is a treasure trove. Explore it; let it enrich you.

But Butterick also has a print book that you should consider: Typography for Lawyers. You should think about buying this book.

What if you're not a lawyer? I don't think it matters.

The beauty of Butterick's work is that he shows you how the principles of elegant typography can apply in any field, even the legal field, in which crappy typographical conventions have long held sway.

I'm making a kind of a fortiori argument:

If Butterick's principles in Typography for Lawyers can help lawyers think about typography, then all the more can it help other professionals (teachers, business execs, real estate agents, etc.) think about the look and feel (the typography) of their written work.

So don't by shy about picking up a copy of Typography for Lawyers on Amazon, even if you're not a lawyer.