Business Writing

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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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October 24, 2005



Just a quick comment on this as it has been discussed around my office from time to time lately: for those writers/editors who can touch-type (i.e. without looking at the keyboard), it is not fun to have to change long ingrained habits. Since this one-space thing is really meant for publications, we leave the deletion of the extra space to the printing process, to be considered whenever something we produce actually gets printed (most of our work does not get printed). Seems to work for those of us "typists".


Hi, Luna. I am a touch-typist who changed my one-space/two-space behavior about five years ago. It took just a couple of weeks. But for those who find the change difficult, remember: you can do a global replace or a grammar-check to slim down those two-space gaps.

Thanks for commenting.


Thanks for the great article and references. The five style guides alone should be enough to convince anyone ... but it won't. I've watched--and been part of--this debate for a very long time. Still hurts to see those vertical 'rivers' of white space in double-spaced copy. I'm always amazed that this continues to be an issue.

Keep up the good work!


Clarity and readability of text win over the prettiness of a paragraph in most cases (paragraphs are meant to be read, not admired for being pretty to look at). I'll stick with two spaces, thanks, and appreciate those who resist the "in" thing and don't subject their readers to the potential confusion of meaning and increased difficulty of reading the style guides have foolishly opened our language up to.


Personally I find double white space after a period is more eye pleasing. And it is hardly a bad habit that needs to be cured of. If one prefers to read my submitted article with single white space, one could perform a global search and replace.

Ironically, what makes a piece of business writing seems long to read is rarely due to double white space. Double white space, like double line space or 1.5 line space helps readibility. What makes it seems long to read is the content, or just bad writing skill. My humble thought to share!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Wilfrid. If you work in a company, it's a good idea to agree with your colleagues on this rule. Otherwise, you will be constantly global-replacing in one another's work!


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