While scanning through an article on the qualities of good research, I came across a sentence that was formatted with extra spacing within the sentence subject It read as followed...

There are still important qualities upon success: contentment and willingness to be of service Contentment is good.

The ending of the sentence is where my question (of weather it the spacing format is a typo, or simply stylistic) arises. Why the extra space between the words “service” and “Contentment”? Also does the fact that the second word have anything to do with it? Is this something that happens in writing?

  • Looks like some kind of typo. It certainly would make sense if there was a period after service. Having two colons in the sentence would be weird. The "sentence" as is doesn't conform to standard structure.
    – MaxW
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


The 'spacing,' fortunately, is one of the things that is clearly defined in English language. And, in the example given, it's incorrect.

The author has missed putting a period before the word 'Contentment' as it starts with a capital letter. And, in any case here, there cannot be two spaces.

Even after placing a period and one space, the sentence looks strange, at least to me.

  • Where is spacing "clearly defined" in English language? There are typographical style guides, but it seems that's different from the English language itself. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 6:55
  • @CoolHandLouis 'clearly defined' means there is no much ambiguity in terms of having a 'space' between words and punctuation in English as compared to other components where 'context' matters a lot.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 6:58
  • But the English issue here doesn't have anything to do with spacing. The problem is that the sentence is missing a period. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 7:42
  • @CoolHandLouis I mentioned both, friend! And, you may reread the title and question of OP.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 7:59
  • There are three spaces between the sentences. It was commonly taught in typewriting class to use two spaces after a period. That has grown out of favor in some circles, but in fact, I myself do that automatically; it's just a force of habit. So one of the spaces should have been a period, and the author may have been using the older-standard of two spaces after a period. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 8:26

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