1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Double spacing after colon?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jannert, Nov 14, 2014.

    Okay, I accept that double-spacing after a period (full stop) is never done any more. (It's such a typing habit with me I always need to go back and remove the extra space ...sigh...) But what about spacing after a colon? I was taught always to put a double space after a colon, and a single space after a semi-colon. Does anybody know the current convention on this?

    IS there a current convention on this?
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only found out that double-spacing after a full stop was passé from this site...Never learned a rule for colons, but it seems logical that a full-stop with a lump of coal on top should be treated the same as a full stop, period. And the same for a comma with a lump of coal on top should be the same as a comma.
     
  3. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Where do you live? In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Patra,

    Humour is so hard to write...
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've never heard of double-spacing after the colon before. I would've expected my professors at Uni to fix it if I had done it incorrectly. :confused:
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've never heard of doing this, either. I'd use one space only.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    So nobody is sure, and everybody is just guessing, like me?

    I'm an old fart, who took typing classes before the days of electric typewriters (!) never mind computers. You know, those typewriters that had a carriage you had to manually return. The only font available was Courier. We were taught in these typing classes that there was always a double space after a colon and a single space after a semi-colon AND a double space at the end of every sentence.

    The double space after every sentence has apparently vanished along with typewriters and the Courier font. I'm wondering if the other convention regarding colons has vanished as well. The extra space was to accentuate the difference between a colon and a semi-colon. Is the new convention not to distinguish between the two any more, and just to treat every mark of punctuation the same? It would make sense, but I just wondered if any publishing people or editing people know for sure.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The Chicago Manual of Style says to use only one space after punctuation. Since the CMoS is used by most publishers, that's a good guideline to follow.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think there's much more to add here, but as a dyed in the wool double-space-after-a-period guy, I was never taught to double space after a colon. Just a single.
     

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