Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

Pain in the English offers proofreading services for short-form writing such as press releases, job applications, or marketing copy. 24 hour turnaround. Learn More


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The double spacing due to a typewriter had to do with the fact that a typewriter uses a "mono space font." This means each character takes up as much space as another and therefore needs the extra emphasis of two spaces after the period to differentiate the end of one sentence and the beginning of another. In word processors we have modern fonts that allow for the concept of kerning. This means a font is built to purposefully allow to Ls or an i and an l to sit closer together in a word because they can. They essentially allow words to stand alone as scannable units and therefore do not need two spaces to differentiate the difference in sentences. Actually if you use the two spaces with a non mono space font, you will create what is called "rivers of whitespace" in your paragraph and page that actually distract from readability.

A really good read on this subject is Robin Williams (not the comedian)'s "The PC is Not a Typewriter."

Jen April 19, 2011, 11:11am

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