When I was in school, we got marked down if we handed in a paper without TWO spaces after the period. College was the same. Two spaces, the professors insisted. Well, the English professors. My science teachers cared not even a little as long as it was in semi-coherent English. But that’s getting off topic.
There’s a lot of talk about what started the two space rule, with some insisting that it has to do with the use of strange devices known as “typewriters” and their monospaced fonts. However, there’s just as good an argument that using two spaces has nothing to do with typewriters, or typesetters and printers desiring a wider space between sentences, and the only reason for the abolishment of two spaces is to lessen printing costs. The only facts that are definite are that large gaps between sentences were common for centuries before the printing press and the typewriter were invented, and using only one space is a recent habit that seems to be getting more popular.
For a while after I started writing, I stuck to the two spaces. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I found out that two was becoming passé, and now even the MLA says one space is preferred for papers and manuscripts (although the APA is still sticking with two). But there are those out there who are literally insane about two being more aesthetically pleasing, and the vitriol is almost as bad as the people who want to abolish the apostrophe.
What say you, peeps? Which did you learn was the “right” one? Which do you use now?