Damian Thompson has an interesting post on his blog.
He tackles the convention of typing two spaces after a period, or “full stop” as the British call them.
The use of two spaces, rather than a single space, after a period is both “wrong” and, I am not making this up, an “atrocity”.
Crikey! What have I been doing all these years?
There was an interesting observation in his post:
Most ordinary people would know the one-space rule, too, if it weren’t for a quirk of history. In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace. To accommodate that machine’s shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong. And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do.
I just saw an episode of Downton Abbey in which the downstairs staff gazed with fascinated opprobrium at a typewriter.
I learned quite a lot from the article to which Damian linked, so it wasn’t a waste of those several minutes of my life to check this out.
In any event, Damian seems pretty worked up about this.
Perhaps WDTPRSers can offer some consolation … or irritation, as the case may be.
I use two spaces because, after several decades, that is what my thumb does all by itself at the end of a sentence. I still type the way I used to (I learned on and first used manual typewriters).
NB: There were two spaces after that last period.
Ooopps… did it again.
Let’s have a WDTPRS poll about this contended point.
Choose your best answer and then give an explanation in the combox.
But first, ….
When you’ve had a hard day of adding too many spaces to your magnum opus et arduum, when your thumb is nearly bleeding from overuse due to double-spacing, when you can’t stand the waste of space on the page… the horror… have some Mystic Monk Coffee!
Yes, ladies and gentleman, Mystic Monk Coffee is the traditional writer’s coffee. It’s even roasted and shipped by traditional Carmelite monks who are trying to build a new monastery in Wyoming’s wide open spaces.
No double-wide for them!
Yes, Mystic Monk Coffee is the perfect coffee for the traditionally inclined.
With a piping hot WDTPRS mug of Mystic Monk Coffee, you can argue to your heart’s content and never grow weary! Just like a real traditionalist. You can argue about whether it is more traditional to go back to punctuation conventions before the typewriter or whether it is by now traditional to insert that extra space.
Ordinary spacing or extraordinary spacing?
Just make another pot of Mystic Monk Coffee, friends, and you can argue to your heart’s content.
Mystic Monk Coffee!