jo555 wrote:Back in my school days I was taught that there should be two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. That was many years ago and I have been faithful to abide by it for the most of my life, as it pertained to the written word.
I don't think that rule applies anymore. I still like it, just not sure if I should always use it. Any input on that, like word of mouth on preferences and such?
Furthermore, I also learned that one should not start a sentence with words like "and" and "then". I've also looked to avoid it, unless in a short story and conversing in it too.
I think it is ok to use it at the beginning of a sentence in a longer story, just probably not favorable to use it excessively that way.
Thanks in advance!
The "two spaces after a period" rule was back when we used typewriters. With computers, it's not necessary; in fact, if you're submitting something for publication, they prefer only one space after a period. When you leave two, it sometimes creates "rivers" of white space trickling down the page.
If you find it difficult to get used to using only one space, go ahead and type your document as usual--then use the "find and replace" function when the whole document is finished, and replace all of your [space space] with [space], all at one time.
Starting a sentence with a conjunction is permissible when done intentionally, for literary effect or in order to create your "writer's voice". It's a style choice, and good writers work on ways to do it well. Additionally, intentional sentence fragments can help with pacing.
You're far more likely to find sentences beginning with "and" or "but" (or similar words) in contemporary or literary fiction than in nonfiction writing or in more traditional fiction. And of course, it's quite common (and very acceptable) in dialogue.
Hope that was helpful for you!