All punctuation marks are “signals” from the writer to the reader. Proper punctuation enables the reading of a document to be smoother, and the understanding of its content easier, than if incorrect punctuation is used. Some sentences may be punctuated in more than one way. In some instances, a punctuation mark may or may not be used, at the writer’s discretion.
Some professions and businesses have their own style of punctuation. A journalist, for example, may omit some punctuation marks which normally are included in a business letter. A lawyer, on the other hand, uses many more punctuation marks when preparing a legal form than are essential for most types of business writing.
Between the punctuation mark at the end of a sentence and the beginning of the next sentence, there can be either one or two character spaces. It is the writer’s choice. Personally, I find it easier to read text where two character spaces have been placed between sentences.
Also, many times, I feel the correct meaning of two consecutive sentences can be somewhat confusing when there is only one space between these sentences. For me, the meaning tends to be clearer when there are two spaces between the sentences.
When writing a web page in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), more than one character space in the source code document will translate into only one visible space on a browser. Therefore, to obtain two character spaces between sentences, a “non-breaking space” symbol ( ) can be used in conjunction with a regular space.
To see descriptions and examples of each type of punctuation mark, click any button on the right side of the screen or at the top of this frame.
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