1) What looks better to you ?

2) What looks better to you?

Many years ago, I found myself adding a space before exclamation points and question marks. I don't, however, put a space before a period. I guess I'm a rebel; I think the space makes the sentence look better, and makes the punctuation stand out for an easier read. I've noticed that some of my relatives do the same thing, and I've spotted it in some other writing samples. I learned tonight on this website that French also adds a space before those two punctuation marks. I do it with only non-business correspondence; when composing business correspondence, I do it "properly" (without the space). Who out there also does this ? Which looks better to you, despite the rules ?

  • 31 results for "space before punctuation" on ELU english.stackexchange.com/search?q=space+before+punctuation
    – Kris
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 7:29
  • 1
    Don't ask questions about opinion. There are rules for punctuation. You may like them or not. You may find it nicer to write "I" with a lower case because it's less egotistical. It will still not be correct. The same goes for spaces before punctuation. What you may feel "looks better" sends shivers down the spines of professional type setters. Compare arguments. The typesetters actually have some. You only do it on a whim (non-business) and do it "properly" for business. Can you see that this is hyper-subjective and cannot possibly get a valid answer here?
    – teylyn
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


No space looks better to me and to almost every other native speaker of English. That's what we grow up learning, so that's what we consider normal. Being a rebel is fine, and when you write your informal stuff for friends and your Internet blog, you can do what you like, but beware. Weird habits become as hard to break as good habits. Just be sure to shave the hair on your palms before writing business letters. Those spaces will look like typos and may cost you a job. Better to be a "rebel" about things that matter than about things that don't. Oh, and if you want to be a rebel, don't ask for opinions. Rebels don't need the approval of others: that's what makes them rebels rather than conformists.

  • I mainly just wanted to see how many other people out there also do this...but, yes...I see your point. Maybe I am not such the rebel, LOL.
    – Jambison
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 6:14

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