1. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Correct spacing - does it vary by font?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by astroannie, Jan 13, 2012.

    I've heard that if I use a monospace font like Courier New I should put two spaces after periods and other full-stop punctuation, but not with proportional fonts.

    This is not addressed in the submission guidelines I have for the publication where I want to submit my work. They did specify Courier New and the pitch.

    So I have two questions:

    1. Is there a standard?
    2. If so, what is that standard? If not, what is common practice?
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    It depends on if the font is "proportional" or not. That is, does each letter take the same amount of space (as it does on a typewritter), or do smaller letters take up less space (as we get on computers)? In a non-proportional/monospace font, it's hard on the eyes to tell when new sentences begin so you need two spaces after a period. But in proportional fonts, it's easier to tell when new sentences begin so you only need one space.

    The easiest way to tell if your font is "proportional" or "monospace" is to type a wide letter ("w") and a narrow letter ("i") next to each other, highlight them one at a time, and see if one is bigger or smaller.

    Courier New is not proportional, so you should use two spaces after each sentence.
     
  3. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Okay, now I have a related question.

    In this passage, how do I space after "Not to mention..."?

    I can't tell if the double spacing is showing up after "juvenile?" etc. because I'm visually impaired, but it is there.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    When I highlight your text, I don't see a double space after "juvenile?" or "dangerous?" It could be that your word processor "AutoCorrect"s double spaces with single spaces. I think I've seen that in older versions of Word. Try typing two spaces after a sentence and then highlight it. Did it combine the two spaces into one? If so, you either have to change this ("AutoCorrect" under "Tools" in Word), or else pick another font.

    After "Not to mention..." a new sentence begins. For example, if the pronoun was "she" you would have to capitalize it: "Not to mention..." She stopped, regretting the words. Thus, you would need to put two spaces there.
     
  5. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    No, I made sure they were in the text inside the FONT tags. It looks like the board ate them because I didn't use the right mojo to insert them in the first place.

    Thank you. That's what I needed to know.

    Bass-rhymes-with-ace or bass-rhymes-with-ass? Just wondering.
     
  6. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Ace. I'm an ace at the bass, ya better watch yo' face. :)
     
  7. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Tres cool! My son plays bass but not funkily yet.
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Unrelated, but you need to add a period (or other punctuation mark) after the ellipsis.

    With regard to the original question, double spacing after punctuation always looks antiquated to me, whether it's in a monospace font or not. There's a lot of discussion around the subject on the forum and on the internet, if you're interested. But it's definitely not standard anymore, more of a personal choice (one that, I think, reveals more about your age than your knowledge of grammar and punctuation).
     
  9. Doug Moore
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    Doug Moore New Member

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    Correct spacing- does it vary by font?

    Hey. I'm new to this forum and just read your post. I have a question for you though.Do you intend to pursue legacy/traditional publishing first or self-publish as an eBook. Either way you'll likely need an edit from a professional and I could recommend one but if you are going the route of self- publishing both Amazon and Smashwords can steer you in the direction toward a reputable editor that I hear are reasonable. I sell more of my book 'Playing God' on Amazon than Smashwords or their affiliated eBook retailers but as far as uploading and submitting Amazon is much easier but the edit you mustgo through to get a book listed in the Premium Catalog for Smashwords is much more thorough. In hindsight I would have started with Smashwords then just uploaded that copy to Amazon. In short I wouldn't worry too much about spacing unless you plan to submit to a traditional publisher through an agent.I really didn't pursue that route. I prefer the freedom,speed of getting your work out there and a lot of Indie writers out there making (sorry!) but a fist full of dollars (see J.A.Konrath's blog). Not me necessarily but it is selling and no matter what a person who gets there should be proud because it's quite an accomplishment and it takes a lot of balls to put yourself out like that. There is nowhere to hide when you're a writer, you're right there between the lines. Goodluck with all your writing and I hope this helps.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't like double-spaces after a period regardless of font, and I don't use them unless an editor insists that a work be presented that way. I've never had any trouble distinguishing the space after a period, personally.
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are lots of standards, pretty much all of them contradictory.

    It is a style choice. I tend to use double spaces all the time because it is mandated at work and because it's easier to convert double space to single space (global search and replace) than to convert single space to double space. Single space is probably more in fashion at the moment, though, which is why double space looks old-fashioned to many, although the same could be said of the the Courier font!
     

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