Hmmph. This will be difficult to change. There we go.

June 4, 2012


Did you know that I’ve been typing ‘wrong’ my whole life? Apparently you are only supposed to put a single space after a period. That is not what I learned, because I learned typing on an ancient machine called a typewriter, and I’m pretty sure the book said two spaces after a period. Well, guess what? The book was wrong. Lloyd and I actually had a disagreement about this a couple of months ago, and I shook my fist and said that single-spacing was some new-fangled religion that he’d better stop sniffing around, but then I read this article.

If you care about such things, this ought to make your blood boil.

Click here to read the article that proves me wrong.

By the way, I had to back up and remove the extra space I made after every period in this post. Old habits die hard.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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15 Responses to “Hmmph. This will be difficult to change. There we go.”

  1. bekahcubed Said on:

    Despite being relatively young, I also learned to type on a typewriter with double spaces between my sentences. I read that same article a couple of months ago and started training myself to single space. It’s been a hard transition, but I think I’ve almost made it (Yay!)

    Now it drives me nuts when I’m charting and I accidentally end up with two spaces (most often due to deleting something I wrote without deleting the accompanying spaces).

    Good luck with your own transition 🙂


  2. Brad Said on:

    The comment section of that article seems to leave the topic unsettled. Writer’s journals or typesetters guilds can talk about “right” all they want, but if a large segment of the population does something different, they’re stuck with it. They’ll just have to put up with us double-spacers and train youngsters to do it the “new” way.

    In the author’s defense, WordPress seems to agree with him. It looks like the second space is automatically removed from after the periods in the posts and comments on our websites.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      That’s actually the whole internet agreeing, not just WordPress. HTML doesn’t put up with more than one space between characters. If you add more, it will just wait patiently for you to type another “real” character and then continue on as if nothing ever happened. You can force extra spaces by using the HTML entity   if you really want an extra one, and I’m sure there are some wysiwyg editors that will add those in for you.


  3. Lauren's dad Said on:

    Shortly after I learned computerlese in 1901, I read then that one is to use one space after a period. I’m wondering if the same rule applies to fixed spaced fonts—Courier, etc. There’s a research project for you.


  4. Kristi Said on:

    What??? This is craziness, mad craziness. I think it’s some sort of environmental “save the trees” campaign to get us to use less paper. Don’t send me hate-mail. It will use more paper.


  5. Tammy Said on:

    Well . . . my boss and I had this conversation a few months ago. I knew about the “new” one space rule and, in fact, thought it was a new, more modern method, which I have tried but have yet to be successful. He was questioning something someone else typed with only one space, insisting that there should be two, and I told him that was old school. Guess not.


  6. Lauren's dad Said on:

    If you can believe it:

    This was more information than I wanted to know.


  7. Old Dog Said on:

    This article proves nothing. We were instructed to use 2 spaces at the end of a sentence. You would even get a 1/2 point off on assignments if you used only one. There would be a circle where it occured on your paper. And it would count as an error on any timed typing tests. Back in the day, you were only allowed 1 mistake per minute of typing or you failed the test. I always did what I was taught in school, so all our teachers must have been wrong. But surely they got it from somewhere.

    I don’t care if it’s one or two spaces. But it is hard to teach an old dog, new tricks.


  8. Beth Said on:

    Heh. I’m a two-spacer. I don’t think I’ll be changing unless it becomes necessary for keeping my job.

    Apparently I, too, am an old dog. 😀


  9. Quiana Said on:

    As an editor, it is particularly embarrassing to strike double spaces from others’ works and then accidentally leave a double space in my notes about not using a double space.

    I also learned to type on a typewriter-- thanks Hawaiian public schools. Trying to undo the habit of the double space is difficult. However,I think the effort is worth it; if for no other reason, than to simply not allow one’s style of writing to become out of touch with the current mode.

    An uppity whippersnapper recently noted a small number of errant double spaces in an essay they were proofing for me and asked if my space bar sticks. This is when I realized that I am old, and will soon die.


  10. Lloyd Said on:

    One interesting double space note: If you’re on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and you type two spaces, it gives you a period and a space. The on-screen keyboards are a little cramped, and not having to change the screen to get a period is sort of handy. Unless you wanted two spaces.


  11. michelle Said on:

    Oh man, I’m old!
    How about I just hit return after each sentence?
    Are we getting lazy or what?


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