DSDM wrote:I use "a couple" to refer to two. "A few" is three or an indeterminate number more.
As for the number of spaces after a period, typographers insist that one space is correct. The two-space thing only came about because manual typewriters used a monospace typesetting, and putting two spaces after a period made it easier to see the end of one sentence and the beginning of a new sentence. Even after electric typewriters and later word processors and computers allowed for more realistic kerning, people continued using two spaces, because that's the way they learned, and passed this on to their children.
I hate the auto-kerning of Word, so I use two spaces. One space doesn't leave enough space between sentences. Also, I used to work for a typesetter as a copy editor. We used TWO spaces after a sentence. Or maybe it was an extra-long space. But it wasn't just one normal space.
Publishers can complain all they want; you should do what pleases you. If you submit copy to a journal, magazine, book editor, etc. then they will just do a global replace on all your "incorrectly" spaced sentences. Hopefully they will have better publishing software than Word.
(BTW, I'm not hating on Word. It just doesn't space well between sentences, IMHO.)