I was taught how to type in the 80s. You know, when they had special classes just for typing. And you sat at a desk that had a real, live, actual typewriter. Not one of those things with the autocorrect built in where if you pushed some button it would go and correct your mistake. You know, the kind that had the little tiny computer screen above the keyboard. The typewriter I was taught on was the kind where you used carbon paper to correct your mistakes. The kind with the big handle at the end of the carriage called the RETURN that you manually, with your hand, pushed over when it dinged to tell you that you were at the end of the line. THAT kind.
This said class was taught by an old lady (love you Mrs. Darling even though you are dead now — RIP) who would walk around with a ruler and smack the back of your hand if you so much as peeked at your fingers. Peeked, I tell you. Just so you know, I never got smacked because I never peeked. Because I was a damn good typist and was a natural. I really was. In the day, 95 WPM was my time. I said, in the day.
Anyway, I was also taught to double space after a sentence. You know, make two spaces after a period. One, two. Well, it seems that the rule has changed. Somewhere, somehow, it changed. The rule now is that it is only necessary to type one space after the end of a sentence.
How do I know? For starters, The Kid has been yelling at me about it for about 2 years. For some reason, it drives her bat-shit crazy when she sees me type and I put in a double space after the period. “It’s not necessary, mom. Why do you even do that? It’s so weird.”
Of course, I completely ignore her and tell her she knows nothing and to carry on with her day. Then last week I was looking to enter a short story I wrote into a writing contest. Guess what one of the rules was? You got it. Single space only after a sentence please. Hmm.
Then, the other day, another blogger shared a post that yet another blogger published. This dude talked about the sin of the double space after a sentence and how it should absolutely, positively NOT be done. In fact, he went on to say that people who use them “are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste.” Ouch. That’s a bit rough, wouldn’t you say? Geez, man. I only put in an extra space after a sentence. I didn’t walk down 5th Avenue in cut-off, white-washed denim shorts, spitting chew on the sidewalk while hacking a loogie. Dang. Can you even spit out chew and hack a loogie at the same time? I wonder…
So, who says this? Apparently, Typographers do. A typographer? Holy cow, what is a Typographer exactly? I never even knew such a profession existed. I suppose there is something for everything. (If you are just absolutely dying to see this guy’s post, you may do so here.)
I’m not going without kicking and screaming though. Do you see how many spaces I’ve been including after each sentence in this post? That’s because I have been doing this for 30 years. How the hell am I supposed to just suddenly stop my thumbs from hitting the space bar twice after that’s all I’ve ever known. It’s like chewing with my butt. Impossible.
Oh well, I guess I’m classless and lack education. Whatever. I’ve been called worse. space space. You know?Mo