The Atlantic

The Scientific Case for Two Spaces After a Period

A new study proves that half of people are correct. The other is also correct.
Source: Tina Fineberg / AP

This is a time of much division. Families and communities are splintered by polarizing narratives. Outrage surrounds geopolitical discourse—so much so that anxiety often becomes a sort of white noise, making it increasingly difficult to trigger intense, acute anger. The effect can be desensitizing, like driving 60 miles per hour and losing hold of the reality that a minor error could result in instant death.

One thing that apparently still has the power to infuriate people, though, is how many spaces should be used after a period at the end of an English sentence.

The war is alive again of late because a study that came out this month from Skidmore College. The study is, somehow, the first to look specifically at this question. It is titled: “Are Two Spaces Better Than One? The Effect of Spacing Following Periods and Commas During Reading.”

It appears in the current issue of the journal . As best I can tell, is a word; the Rochester Institute of Technology it as the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Devin Nunes Is Living in a Fantasyland
The representative’s claims about stories reporting on the Trump administration are part of a universe of untruth.
The Atlantic7 min read
‘I Felt I Didn’t Deserve to Be Unapologetically Joyous’
Kesha opens up about being back to party-animal mode despite her ongoing struggle with the producer Dr. Luke.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Here’s What Should Disqualify Michael Bloomberg
New York’s stop-and-frisk policy is just one example of the former mayor’s lack of respect for civil liberties.