Some people prefer two spaces between sentences. People who do it right prefer one. 

It shouldn’t be a matter of preference anymore. Microsoft Word has declared that one space is really the correct way to do it. I thought it was official already, since AP and most other guides have official missives on the use of spaces after sentences. They’re pretty squarely on the side of the single space. Now, if you try to bring the double spaces to a Word document, Word will give you the nudge you need to please cut it out. You’ll be handed a signature squiggly blue line of a reminder to go back and fix something, because it’s not correct.

There may have been a time when I used two spaces, but I don’t remember it. I don’t know what it is to work on an old-timey typewriter. In those days, two spaces were necessary, because there were no computers with word processors. There had to be some way to indicate the end of a sentence. Typewriters required that extra space, and everybody got used to the double thumb-bump to make it happen. Considering that practice also comes from the time when you’d have to crank a phone that you’d hang on a separate receiver, maybe it’s past time to move on. Maybe I was taught the two spaces. For sure, I’ve adapted. 

The holdover two-spacers I know will cling to it until somebody makes them stop. Maybe this will do it. If not, they can always learn how to disable Word from reminding them it’s incorrect. I’m not going to demonstrate here how to go in and mess with those preferences, because the one-space way is really the only way. If you really want to know, I can walk you through it.

Even though I always default to one space, I won’t go to the mat over it if a client or colleague really insists on there being two. I do insist on consistency, though. If a document has many hands creating it, and some use one space while others use two, it’s going to look weird. Go one way or the other with it, at least. -rvb