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Twice Ain't Nice

When I first met Cliff, he took me to school. He said that proper form is one space, not two after a period. I’d spent my whole life thinking a double-space was the way to go. Not so, Schmucko.

Dig this article from Slate, breaking down actual facts.

Categories:  Arts and Culture  Bookish  Bronx Banter

Tags:  books  double space  essays  grammer  slate

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1 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 14, 2011 3:31 pm

I still do it out of habit from time to time. It's hard to shake!

2 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 14, 2011 3:48 pm

I spent too many years writing too many legal documents, where the convention/requirement is two spaces, to stop now.

Re: the Slate article, the reason that convention developed in legal documents is because they were all required to be typed in a monospace font (i.e., Courier). That's not true anymore, but I bet most lawyers use two spaces regardless of font.

3 bags   ~  Jan 14, 2011 3:51 pm

whoa. i was taught two spaces in typing class in the 9th grade. i had no idea. i'm shaken to the core.

4 RIYank   ~  Jan 14, 2011 3:51 pm

Two-spacing does look kind of crappy and amateurish. But on the other hand it's pathetic to make a big deal out of it. Get-a-life type pathetic. (Uh, not Cliff, of course!)

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 14, 2011 3:56 pm

Then there was that rapper ... Tuspace Shakur ... and look what happened to him! :-P

6 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:09 pm

I usually like Pet Peeves but I don't share this one. I learned double space in typing class too!

7 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:17 pm

I learned two spaces in typing class (though we were on word processors/computers), but was corrected when I went to work for my college paper, then the habit was beaten out of me when I went to work in publishing.

It's important for bloggers etc. because, really, it does look awful in print, even if it might seem nicely formal in, say, a letter. Fortunately, it just takes a simple find-and-replace to fix (which I did to many, many author manuscripts in my publishing days . . . and a few of Diane's early posts ;)).

8 Raf   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:30 pm

First the horoscopes, now this, what next?

9 rbj   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:39 pm

Wow, I always though it was two as well. And I'm the type who will correct his own grammar and spelling in blog comments.

10 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:53 pm

[7] Does wordpress have some kind of auto-edit feature that changes two spaces into one that you left on? I know I typed two spaces in between the last two sentences in [2], and yet now . . . it looks like just one space!

11 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 14, 2011 4:56 pm

[10] Hmmm . . . it happened again. I typed two spaces after the question mark, and now it shows as just one. I just did two, three, four, and five spaces after the period - and when I did "Preview Your Comment", it reformatted all of them to one space.

12 RIYank   ~  Jan 14, 2011 5:06 pm

[10] Very cool.
My first serious writing was with nroff and troff, which are a *little* like html, with commands in the body of the text. (Maybe a little like LaTex.) Those packages would crush out extraneous spaces. I guess Wordpress inherits that old-fashioned, slightly nerdy characteristic.

13 Just Fair   ~  Jan 14, 2011 9:16 pm

This just blew my mind. Maybe just a few random sentences to see which looks better. I have always used two spaces. I don't plan on changing anytime soon. If my co-teacher proofread my report cards and I always used one space she'd probably lose her shit. She loves semi-colons, though. I am not a fan.

14 Just Fair   ~  Jan 14, 2011 9:19 pm

Moderation. WTF! I don't think that has happened to be before.

15 MDF   ~  Jan 15, 2011 12:21 am

I use two spaces when I'm creating documents for printing.

I use one space online.

But the real change from hard copy to online writing is in the use of paragraphs.

Shorter paragraphs look better online.

And with two lines between paragraphs.

I just looks better that way.

(Though sometimes I overdo it.)

16 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 15, 2011 8:01 pm

[10] HTML does not recognize multiple spaces. Try putting 10 spaces between words, and see how it posts. It's a HTML thing, not WordPress.

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