Friday, December 2, 2011

Space Cadet. I Didn't Get the Memo!

     Did you know that two spaces are not required after a period or other punctuation? I did not get the memo. I learned to type on typewriter a bigillion years ago and took keyboarding in junior high. When did this "no two spaces" policy take effect? I have submitted hundreds of papers, articles, and blogs to professors and editors over the greater part of 20 years. Why am I just learning this?
     One of my editors, Erik Deckers of Professional Blog Service, tweeted a few months ago about knowing the age of his writers by how many spaces they put after a period. I had a feeling he was talking about me in a good way - like I'm old school - thank you very much! Nope. He has been Ctrl+A-ing all of my work to find my excessive spacing.  
     Come to find out that my duplicate spaces are like a slap in the face of technology.  Apparently, Microsoft Word knows how to insert proper spacing between sentences without me bossing it around or something. Duly noted.


  1. So it shall be written, so it shall be done? Negative. This suggested tenet of typed verse is no commandment. So in agreement with your old school sentence-arranging sentiments, I respectfully say fuck technology and the semi-colon rules it road in on. In this matter and forever more, two spaces have I. My ancient ways take umbrage at this MS Word-instigated shift of tectonic space-bar proportions. Sure, I heard rumblings of this many moons ago, but like Silly Bandz and Dancing With The Stars, I knew it wasn’t for me. So Erik Deckers, tweet away. And instead of pondering whether I’m an Gen X or Y scribe, make yourself useful and guess my weight.

    Dalton Trumbo
    Prisoner #7551

  2. I still have a difficult time making the transition when texting. Punctuation was beaten into my head.

  3. I, too, was a firm believer in the "two spaces after a sentence" dictum, but have managed to meld into the present-day style of only needing one! When I learned to type way back in high school (circa 1965) on a manual machine, we were drilled and drilled, over and over, that it was imperative to hit that space bar two times at the end of any sentence. Technology has certainly come a long way to save all that extra work of our thumbs.

  4. Until today, and not because of this blog, I was never aware of the typewriter-era dictum of 2 spaces between sentences. Although I am of that vintage I was a self-taught typist and always used 1 space. In the last few years, after becoming a volunteer proof-reader, I had this epiphany after reading dense multi-sentence paragraphs and asking myself the question "why is this so hard to read?". My fix was to put double spaces between the sentences and it helped enormously. So, I'm sorry, even though I was a career engineer and computer technologist I remain one of the double spacing Luddites.