Friday, January 14, 2011

You're Doing it Wrong! Spaces After Periods.

I'm feeling a little discombobulated after reading this article on Slate.  In fact, I feel as though my entire world has been turned upside down.  It's nothing big in the grand scheme of things -- just something I always though I was doing right, because that is how I learned it back in typing class in the 8th grade.  Back then we used actual typewriters to learn how to type, and my teacher would tell us all to keep our heads facing forward and holler out "J" "S" "T" and every other letter, and we would have to type them without looking.  After we memorized the letters, we learned how to type complete sentences.  And that is where I learned to use two spaces after a period.

Apparently, that is all wrong:
Yet when he sits down to type, Julian Assange reverts to an antiquated habit that would not have been out of place in the secretarial pools of the 1950s: He uses two spaces after every period. Which—for the record—is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.

This is shocking news to me.  No one has ever told me this, and no teacher (or anyone else) has corrected me on this.  I always use two spaces after a period.  In fact, that last sentence and every other sentence in every blog post on here?  Two spaces after the period.  Every brief, motion, e-mail, letter, and everything else that I have typed since I learned how to type has included two spaces after each period.  (I believe maybe once or twice in an effort to fit into page limitations I may have used one space, but it felt wrong and dirty.) 

I'm not sure this is something I can change at this point in my life.  I'm simply too much in the habit of two spaces after a period.  Also, I'm not sure it's something I want to expend the effort to change.  Now, I type without even thinking about it.  If I try to only use one space after a period, I will have to think about it.  One space.  That's it.  Stop right there!  Ugh.  It's very disconcerting to find out that you've been doing something completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong for 23 years.

1 comment:

  1. That was a really interesting article, but man, the tone was so condescending. Yikes.

    For the record, I'm a two-spacer. The only time I single space is when I'm texting to conserve characters.