Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Lawyers love to get worked up about obscure grammar and style rules, almost as much as they like to get in a huff over obscure laws. (Emoluments, anyone?) There's the long-running fight pitting case law aficionados against the caselaw'ers. A recent First Circuit ruling that was decided on the lack of an Oxford comma opened up a new front in that ongoing war. But frankly, that stuff is old news.
The newest major legal writing fight revolves around one of the most pressing issues facing lawyers today: Should you put one or two spaces after a period?
If you're of a certain age -- and by that we mean pretty much anyone who learned to type before the mid-90s -- you were probably told to put two spaces after every period, even if you were typing on a PC. Such sentence spacing is an old typesetting convention, literally going back hundreds of years, and one that gained common usage when typewriters became popular.
Publishers and typesetters eventually dropped the double space, but the two-space tradition continued among most typists. Some say it helps compensate for manual typewriters' monospaced type, some say it reduced key jamming.
Today, monospaced type isn't a concern with modern word processors, or modern courts. The Seventh Circuit, for example, prohibits it. Your keyboard definitely isn't going to jam no matter how many or how few spaces you use. But, the double space sentence spacing still persists.
Society has oppressed and judged us.-- lawprofblawg (@lawprofblawg) March 17, 2017
From there, the debate spread:
When all is said and done, it seems like most of us are on the one-space side:
Question time!-- ShopABA.org (@ShopABA) March 28, 2017
When writing, do you put 2 spaces after a period?
It's good to know that at least a narrow majority of us are doing it right.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.