One Space or Two?

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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby TheHammer24 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:47 pm

I just ctrl+h'd my memo. I'm breaking "this quaint Victorian habit"!!!
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:57 pm

TheHammer24 wrote:Maybe I'll start Find-and-Replacing all my two-spaces. I don't think I could teach my thumb to hit the space bar once after a sentence.

I have a macro in Word that does that. The following macro loops repeatedly though the document and will take any group of spaces down to a single space.

Spoiler:
Sub Remove_Double_Spaces()
Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
With Selection.Find
.Text = " "
.Replacement.Text = " "
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
End With
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
While Selection.Find.Found
Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
Wend
End Sub

I’m no expert in creating macros, so this may be sub-optimal from a programming perspective. It works, though.

I always use tabs or indents to align text in a document, not spaces, so there is never a case where I want to have two or more spaces in a row. I use this macro to remove any multiple spaces that I may have introduced by accident. I also use this macro to quickly prune all of the double spaces between sentences out of documents prepared by my colleagues that still use two. One click and they’re all gone.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby mikey287 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:11 pm

Just thinking aloud, does LGP's removal of the double space by default affect your code above? I'm thinking it might, but I don't know much at all about code.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby TheHammer24 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:21 pm

mikey287 wrote:Just thinking aloud, does LGP's removal of the double space by default affect your code above? I'm thinking it might, but I don't know much at all about code.

It does freeze your Word.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:26 pm

mikey287 wrote:Just thinking aloud, does LGP's removal of the double space by default affect your code above? I'm thinking it might, but I don't know much at all about code.

Oh, yes it would. The line [.Text = " "] should have two spaces between those quotes. The next line only has one space between the quotes.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Grunthy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:48 pm

Ehh... sometimes I put one, others I put two. If I want to add length to my paper I make all periods a couple sizes bigger. It really increases the length of your paper without anyone ever noticing. :pop:
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby TheHammer24 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:52 pm

Grunthy wrote:Ehh... sometimes I put one, others I put two. If I want to add length to my paper I make all periods a couple sizes bigger. It really increases the length of your paper without anyone ever noticing. :pop:

That's why professors should look at lines-per-page in determining the legitimacy of your spacing.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby redwill on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:58 pm

TheHammer24 wrote:That's why professors should look at lines-per-page in determining the legitimacy of your spacing.


Professors are too busy stabbing themselves in their foreheads reading the absolute crap students are writing to worry about lines-per-page.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Grunthy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:28 pm

Ahhh but I don't believe it affects your lines per page. Just makes your lines longer. Well my way of doing it anyway. I only suggest this method if the paper is ridiculously long to begin with, because it will only add maybe half a line per page. So if you need a twenty page paper, which I did quite a few in college, this method helped.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Kaizer on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:35 pm

never heard of any rule for it, i use one. see?
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:52 pm

Kraftster wrote:What finally prompted the creation of this thread was a 25 page brief from opposing counsel with only a single space between sentences. These attorneys had, up to this point, always used 2 spaces in any motions or briefs that they filed. I was wondering whether it might have been a space-saving move because they used every line of the 25 pages we were permitted. I do wonder how much space it would actually give you over 25 pages.

If you are looking for extra space in a brief with a page limit and you use Microsoft Word, you should correct Word’s improper double spacing of paragraphs. “Double spaced” means that the space between lines is equal to twice the text size. Twelve point text would thus be double spaced with 24 points between the lines (or a percentage of 200%, or a multiple of 2.0). For some reason, however, when you go to the Paragraph dialog box in Word and select “Double” (or click the icon for double spacing), Word sets the line spacing at more than 200%. Why? Dunno. Maybe they wanted to throw a bone to every schoolkid who was ever assigned a “5 page, double spaced” paper. If you want true double spacing, select the text and in the Paragraph dialog box choose “Exactly” and then set the number to twice the point size of the text (e.g., 24 points for 12-point text). That brings the lines closer together and frees up more space without violating any rule that requires double-spaced text. Needless to say, all of my pleadings are set to “true” double spacing, not Word’s too-large version.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Gaucho on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:54 pm

The correct answer is 288.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Rylan on Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:06 pm

I have always used 2 spaces because that was what I was taught.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:06 pm

TheHammer24 wrote:Also, I hate "justify." Just left align it. The rivers of white space running down the pages in justify is not pleasing to the eye.

I wanted to get back to this topic. There is nothing wrong with justified text when it's done correctly. In fact, if you open just about any professionally set book, the text will be justified. The problem is that Word and other commercial word processors don’t do it correctly. It takes advanced professional-typesetting programs to do proper justification.

The following is an excerpt from a document I wrote for my colleagues called “Recommendations for Improved Typography.” This is the section on justification. Unfortunately, the example won’t be visible here on LGP, but I think everyone here can intuit what it would look like:

2. Do not justify your documents. Use left-aligned (ragged-right) text.
I expect this first one to generate a fair amount of contention. I know from experience that others have taken left-aligned documents I’ve written and justified them before sending them out. Some have told me that they prefer justification—where the text is flush with both margins—because it looks more polished. And, yes, one would be hard-pressed to find a book with unjustified text. So why advise against it? Because Microsoft Word stinks at doing it, and as a result it makes documents harder to read. Word’s poor justification results in inconsistent word spacing. Inconsistent word spacing forces the eye to slow down as it moves across the page, and it degrades both reading speed and comprehension. Legibility should be the highest priority for our documents, and legibility is damaged by poor justification.

Word’s justification algorithm is simple. It crams as many words on each line as will fit and then spaces them out equally from margin to margin. This can generate widely varying gaps between words. For example, here is some text that is justified and left-aligned, respectively:

[ example comparing justified text with left-aligned text ]

For the justified text, you can see how the spaces between the words on the first and second lines are much larger than the spaces on the third line. In contrast, the left-aligned text maintains consistent word spacing. Variable word spacing makes a document harder to read because the eye cannot easily predict the jump to the next word. Imagine climbing a set of stairs where the height of each step varies randomly. You would have to slow down and watch your feet because each step is unpredictably different. Inconsistent word spacing similarly forces the eye to slow down as it moves across a line.

I increased the size of the text and narrowed the margins to make this example more obvious, but inconsistent spacing is present in any Word document that is justified. Professional typesetters minimize the spacing problem using sophisticated justification programs that first hyphenate words and then adjust the spaces between words, the spaces between letters within words, and the width of individual letters. For example, when discussing justification in The Manual of Typographic Style, author Robert Bringhurst reveals that the justification software used to set the book was programmed to vary inter-character spacing by ±3% and the width of individual letters by ±2%. Even with those sophisticated programs, he adds, typesetters often have go through a document and manually tweak the text to make it look right.

Word and the other word processors on the market do not have that level of sophistication. They cannot justify in a way that does not hinder legibility and reading comprehension. Ragged-right text might not look as polished on the page, but it is easier to read and comprehend.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby columbia on Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:08 pm

How do you justify spending time on such documents, when you should be billing clients?
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby TheHammer24 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:14 pm

Shyster wrote:
TheHammer24 wrote:Also, I hate "justify." Just left align it. The rivers of white space running down the pages in justify is not pleasing to the eye.

I wanted to get back to this topic. There is nothing wrong with justified text when it's done correctly. In fact, if you open just about any professionally set book, the text will be justified. The problem is that Word and other commercial word processors don’t do it correctly. It takes advanced professional-typesetting programs to do proper justification.

The following is an excerpt from a document I wrote for my colleagues called “Recommendations for Improved Typography.” This is the section on justification. Unfortunately, the example won’t be visible here on LGP, but I think everyone here can intuit what it would look like:
Spoiler:
2. Do not justify your documents. Use left-aligned (ragged-right) text.
I expect this first one to generate a fair amount of contention. I know from experience that others have taken left-aligned documents I’ve written and justified them before sending them out. Some have told me that they prefer justification—where the text is flush with both margins—because it looks more polished. And, yes, one would be hard-pressed to find a book with unjustified text. So why advise against it? Because Microsoft Word stinks at doing it, and as a result it makes documents harder to read. Word’s poor justification results in inconsistent word spacing. Inconsistent word spacing forces the eye to slow down as it moves across the page, and it degrades both reading speed and comprehension. Legibility should be the highest priority for our documents, and legibility is damaged by poor justification.

Word’s justification algorithm is simple. It crams as many words on each line as will fit and then spaces them out equally from margin to margin. This can generate widely varying gaps between words. For example, here is some text that is justified and left-aligned, respectively:

[ example comparing justified text with left-aligned text ]

For the justified text, you can see how the spaces between the words on the first and second lines are much larger than the spaces on the third line. In contrast, the left-aligned text maintains consistent word spacing. Variable word spacing makes a document harder to read because the eye cannot easily predict the jump to the next word. Imagine climbing a set of stairs where the height of each step varies randomly. You would have to slow down and watch your feet because each step is unpredictably different. Inconsistent word spacing similarly forces the eye to slow down as it moves across a line.

I increased the size of the text and narrowed the margins to make this example more obvious, but inconsistent spacing is present in any Word document that is justified. Professional typesetters minimize the spacing problem using sophisticated justification programs that first hyphenate words and then adjust the spaces between words, the spaces between letters within words, and the width of individual letters. For example, when discussing justification in The Manual of Typographic Style, author Robert Bringhurst reveals that the justification software used to set the book was programmed to vary inter-character spacing by ±3% and the width of individual letters by ±2%. Even with those sophisticated programs, he adds, typesetters often have go through a document and manually tweak the text to make it look right.

Word and the other word processors on the market do not have that level of sophistication. They cannot justify in a way that does not hinder legibility and reading comprehension. Ragged-right text might not look as polished on the page, but it is easier to read and comprehend.

Great stuff, Shyster. The walking-up-the stairs analogy is particularly illustrative. I knew that hyphenating justified text improves spacing, but I had no idea just how precise professional typesetting was.

Spoiler:
I'm interested in your Style Guide.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby redwill on Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:11 pm

Shyster wrote:
ulf wrote:Shyster will be here soon enough to set us straight.

“Use even forward-spacing in your documents: one space between words and one space after punctuation marks (including colons and periods).” Bryan A Garner, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style § 4.12(a) (2d ed. 2006).


It's kind of ironic, then, that both you and Mr. Garner did not put "one space after punctuation marks" in the above bolded part. It would obviously be wrong to type "periods) . "" but if you follow the letter of Mr. Garner's instructions, it's the way you should do it (since periods, quotation marks, and parentheses are all technically punctuation marks), right?
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:15 pm

redwill wrote:It's kind of ironic, then, that both you and Mr. Garner did not put "one space after punctuation marks" in the above bolded part. It would obviously be wrong to type "periods) . "" but if you follow the letter of Mr. Garner's instructions, it's the way you should do it (since periods, quotation marks, and parentheses are all technically punctuation marks), right?

To quote from Futurama: "you are technically correct—the best kind of correct."
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby IrishEyes on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:02 pm

What makes this funny to me is that a couple years ago I printed out an article on how one space is correct and sent it around to the staff of the law firm I worked for. They told me I was crazy.

Thank you, Shyster, for validating me. :fist:
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby redwill on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Shyster wrote:
redwill wrote:It's kind of ironic, then, that both you and Mr. Garner did not put "one space after punctuation marks" in the above bolded part. It would obviously be wrong to type "periods) . "" but if you follow the letter of Mr. Garner's instructions, it's the way you should do it (since periods, quotation marks, and parentheses are all technically punctuation marks), right?

To quote from Futurama: "you are technically correct—the best kind of correct."


So will you be following Mr. Garner's (and Mr. Butterick's, and Mr. Adams', and Mr. Bringhurst's) incompetent instructions in the future?
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Lt. Dish on Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:21 pm

Old Smith Corona days: Two spaces, as taught in high school typing class.

Past 15 years using Word: One space, as advised by profs, since Word adjusts to slightly over one space after punctuation. It took a year or so, but I broke the habit of two spaces after colons and end-sentence punctuation; now, when I see two spaces, I think it looks really weird. None of my students have been taught to use two spaces, so I chalk it up as another generational thing. In other news, if I could just get my students to change the left margin measurement from 1.25" to 1"...

Pitts wrote:Silly rules for silly things.


You're absolutely right!
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:09 pm

redwill wrote:So will you be following Mr. Garner's (and Mr. Butterick's, and Mr. Adams', and Mr. Bringhurst's) incompetent instructions in the future?

Of course. I should point out that the section on parentheses in Mr. Garner's Redbook says that they are an exception to the usual spacing rules for punctuation. Parentheses are not separated from other punctuation by spaces. That includes other parentheses. For example, it is not uncommon in legal cites to have two parentheses next to one another, as in: See Doe. v. Roe, 987 A.2d 654 (Pa. 1975) (citing Smith v. Jones, 123 A. 456 (Pa. 1890)). In those cases, the parentheses "kiss" and are not separated by spaces.

I imagine the remaining authors were probably operating under the assumption that their readers were aware that parentheses are an exception to the general rule.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:43 pm

Lt. Dish wrote:In other news, if I could just get my students to change the left margin measurement from 1.25" to 1"...

I also wanted to get back to this. Are you saying that their margins should be even on both sides, or are you saying that the margins should be narrower. I would argue the opposite; margins should be wider. Here’s another section from that document I wrote on typography recommendations:
8. Slightly increase the left and right margins.
According to The Manual of Typographic Style, the human eye prefers to read lines of text somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 to 75 characters in length (including spaces) for type around 12-point size. The 6.5″ line length created by using 1″ left and right margins usually exceeds that range by a significant amount. Widening the left and right margins will increase the readability of the text. Other resources agree on this point. Bryan Garner in The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style recommends 1.2″ margins, and Kenneth Adams in A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting likes 1.5″ margins. I usually go with something a little closer to the former in briefs, but I also frequently violate our document conventions and use something other than 12-point Times New Roman. If you use Times, then go with margins on the wider side.


Matthew Butterick in his book Typography for Lawyers recommends a simple rule of thumb for the number of characters per line. According to Mr. Butterick, no more than three lowercase alphabets (without spaces between letters or successive alphabets) should fit on the same line. So pick a line and start typing abcdefg…. If you get to the third “z” before you reach the end of the line, then either narrow the margins or use a more robust font. For example, Century Schoolbook uses more space than does Times Roman at the same point sizes. Twelve-point Century Schoolbook produces text on the page that is roughly the same size as 14-point Times.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby nocera on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:59 pm

It's one. Two spaces after a period if you're using a type writer.
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Re: One Space or Two?

Postby Lt. Dish on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:35 pm

Shyster wrote:
Lt. Dish wrote:In other news, if I could just get my students to change the left margin measurement from 1.25" to 1"...

I also wanted to get back to this. Are you saying that their margins should be even on both sides, or are you saying that the margins should be narrower. I would argue the opposite; margins should be wider. Here’s another section from that document I wrote on typography recommendations:
8. Slightly increase the left and right margins.
According to The Manual of Typographic Style, the human eye prefers to read lines of text somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 to 75 characters in length (including spaces) for type around 12-point size. The 6.5″ line length created by using 1″ left and right margins usually exceeds that range by a significant amount. Widening the left and right margins will increase the readability of the text. Other resources agree on this point. Bryan Garner in The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style recommends 1.2″ margins, and Kenneth Adams in A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting likes 1.5″ margins. I usually go with something a little closer to the former in briefs, but I also frequently violate our document conventions and use something other than 12-point Times New Roman. If you use Times, then go with margins on the wider side.


Matthew Butterick in his book Typography for Lawyers recommends a simple rule of thumb for the number of characters per line. According to Mr. Butterick, no more than three lowercase alphabets (without spaces between letters or successive alphabets) should fit on the same line. So pick a line and start typing abcdefg…. If you get to the third “z” before you reach the end of the line, then either narrow the margins or use a more robust font. For example, Century Schoolbook uses more space than does Times Roman at the same point sizes. Twelve-point Century Schoolbook produces text on the page that is roughly the same size as 14-point Times.


Good catch, Shyster. I did mean 1" all around, not just on the left. MS Word defaults to 1.25" all around, so I was talking about narrowing. But I should've clarified that I'm taking about margins on school assignments and not professional papers. I understand that slightly wider is better for publishing and binding (because of the book gutter), but I didn't even think about the ease of reading in general. I'm definitely going to look into Butterick's recommendations, as I'm completely unfamiliar. Thanks for the tip!

Not speaking for all of academe, I'll offer what I've been taught, qualifications included. Profs usually request 1" for assignments for a few reasons: First, it's the convention in most traditionally accepted styles. I'm in business; we use APA. Manuscripts going to academic journals typically are usually 1", depending on the journal. Fortunately, the double-spacing convention and 12-point font aids the eyes. Typically, students use Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri without even thinking about it. I've never seen a paper with Century Schoolbook or Courier in 12-point, but there's a first time for everything!

Now, speaking for myself, I ask for 1" margins all around to force students to use the entire page, avoiding "white-space abuse." WSA aids in spreading out the text in an attempt to "meet" minimum page requirements and is epidemic.

Image
STOP WHITE-SPACE ABUSE!
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