Double Spacing Between Paragraphs - A Rant

Last Update: August 31, 2021

When did so many WA members forget how to construct a paragraph?

A paragraph has multiple sentences, each continuing a specific train of thought. When that thought is completed, then it’s time to move to a new paragraph. That’s how the English language works.

Lately, however, it seems that many writers are double spacing between each sentence, rather than completing the thought in a paragraph. This makes their posts appear to be long, when in reality if paragraphs had been properly constructed, it might have been just a few lines instead.

News flash, people, this double spacing strategy is much more difficult to read and follow. If you are using this on your blogs outside WA, don’t be surprised if your conversion rate doesn’t achieve your goals. You’re making the process harder for your readers to follow the train of thought and thus harder to respond to your invitations to click through to the next step. I, for one, usually navigate away to another post as soon as I see that style employed on a WA post because I know the writer rarely completes a single thought.

Please, for the love of God, switch back to writing in paragraphs. Be nice to your fellow WA members. Be nice to your readers as well.

End of rant!

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ParthaB Premium Featured Comment
Dear


Jeannine ,

May. I play

Devil's advocate

for a moment.
I wouldn't say that I use double spacing per se, but I am definitely "guilty" of not finishing my trail of thought within the same paragraph.

My reasoning - mobile viewing.

Whether right or wrong, my style of writing online has definitely changed over the years, simply due to the fact that the majority of readers use a mobile device.

A properly constructed paragraph may often look like a huge block of intimidating text.

Just my thoughts.
P


Respectfully,


P
A
R
T
H
A
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JeffreyBrown Premium
🤣🤣😹
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JeannineC Premium
I must disagree. I'm not advocating huge paragraphs which go on and on and on and on. I'm advocating paragraphs containing 3-4 sentences and the use of punctuation. That's actually easier to read than

breaking everything up

start on a new line

which may or may not be

in context with the previous one

What were we talking about again

Oh yeah...
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JeffreyBrown Premium
I'm not going to disagree with you, Jeannine!

Jeff
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ParthaB Premium
ǝuᴉuuɐǝſ ɥʇᴉʍ ǝǝɹƃɐsᴉp oʇ pǝɹɐɔs ooʇ ɯ,I
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JeannineC Premium
Haha, yes, I'm a terror!

NOT!!!!
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JKulk1 Premium
Lol. Love it. I'm old school and would much prefer posts to be written correctly. However, marketing is a law unto it's own.
When I became a Marketing manager many, many years ago, I quickly became aware that ' Normal' did not sell products.
I found that white space, bold type and eccentricity worked well. I was the Sales and Marketing boss for a major house and land building company. I even deliberately placed adds upside down in the newspapers. They worked a treat.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
🤣😹
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JeffreyBrown Premium
How did you do that, PP?😂
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Zoopie Premium
Found a picture of you on your website. Lol. The purple prince of prose. Only in fun.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
🤣🤣🤣😹😹😹
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Zoopie Premium
I am scared . Lol.
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ParthaB Premium
Youjusthadtoadditheredidn'tyouTheblogpostwhereIhavetowatchmyp'sandqisbecauseIhavebecomeaccustomedtowritingformobile.Butofcourse,IactuallycompletelyagreewithJeannneasIhavehadtopublishebooks,etc.withproperparagraphs.Anywaybacktothepoint,Iwasactuallyquitewellknownformyextravagentdresssenseinmy20sandIdidinfactownapurplesuit.

And yes, you have to read the above.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
😂😂😂
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Zoopie Premium
My dress is quite formal Mr P. Lol.getaloadofthismrpurpleprincePaRthadoyoulikeit. He he.
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SophieKim Premium
I am with you Jeannine! I like reading something that is properly written, formatting, use of proper English, correct spelling, etc. I read a lot of info on my phone sent to me by email and they are still properly written.

If I read something that looks so bad, and not helpful, it gets deleted right away.

Cheers,
Evelyn
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AndyN1 Premium
Hi Jeannine

This scratches the surface of a huge subject. (end of that thought, on to the next, line feed, carriage return)

To some extent, I do agree with others, that this has likely come about by the admonition to break up our writing and avoid lengthy paragraphs, that might look OK on a large screen but become a large block of impenetrable text on a mobile device. (and now for a new thought)

The general observation that the standards of written and spoken language are falling, is common throughout the ages and most noticeable to those of us on the plus side of the half-century mark. Probably because we witness the rules and lessons drilled into us in our formative years being routinely violated.

Linguists tell us this is just a natural phenomenon of a living language. Most of us, today, need notes to be able to read Shakespeare. I would not be surprised if 100 years from now people need notes to read the works of the Brontes sisters.

Much more could be said. But I'll stop there, except to say . . .

Thanks for initiating this interesting thread.
Cheers
Andy
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JeannineC Premium
I think the linguists are wrong about that. Instead I thinking it's the dumbing down of the population, lowering standards so that "all succeed." But in the long run, this will only hurt civilization.

In the future I'm guessing they won't even know how to spell "Brontes"!
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AndyN1 Premium
Well, Jeannine . . . here was the last para I wrote on my comment and then deleted before sending.

A counterargument (to what linguists say), is that humanity is descending into a dysfunctional dystopian idiocracy. The dominance of the colloquial is driving the English language towards NewSpeak with no need for any nefarious government intention. That has to be double-plus bad.

A tad provocative perhaps.
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JeannineC Premium
Interesting! That is indeed a possibility, though my first thought when you suggested that was the recent law signed in Oregon which suspends testing for graduation requirements. Basically a high school diploma from Oregon is the equivalent of Charmin now.
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Roybretton Premium Plus
Good morning Jeannine,

I hope you're doing well, thank you for your blog post.

Although I am British, I would still like to learn more about the English language as I do like to read something that is written correctly. I have to say, I'm still learning.

I agree with you, Jeannine, it's good to see a page laid out correctly. I see a lot of people not even starting sentences with a capital letter, it looks terrible. I believe a lot of this comes from text language! I have even received emails written in text language, I don't respond to that type of email!

Have a great day.

Roy
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JeannineC Premium
So true, Roy, so true. The growth of texting has certainly led to some bad grammatical habits!
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YvonneBray Premium
Thank you Jeannine for enlightening us and reminding of how to write.

I would also like to add to Cassi's comment below that many of us are told to do double spacing between each sentence for uni, college and school. So it could be a habit that is difficult for some to break.

I do agree with you double spacing on the web is not necessary and can be annoying.
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JeannineC Premium
Your point is a solid one, that you may have been told in the past to double space. It reinforces that one must always keep their reader in mind rather than solely relying on habits from the past.
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