Saturday, August 23, 2014

Smack Talk and Punctuation


period
(Not THAT period, silly…the one at the end of a sentence.)

There’s a meme that’s been going around Facebook lately:

DoubleSpace
Nothing Says Over 40 Like Two Spaces after a Period!
(Visual courtesy of Cult of Pedagogy, a teacher site.)

And there’s a long history of typeface and what the rationale was for two spaces back in the day (which I guess means the 1970s, which is when I learned to type) and why you should no longer use two spaces.
Because it makes you seem old.
“Over forty” old.
I resemble that remark.

The rationale for today’s “one space” rule has something to do with typography and the way a word processing/desktop publishing program works.  And I get it…technology has again changed stuff from “the way it used to be,” just like it has changed the need for keeping a quarter on your person at all times in case something happens and you need to call your dad from a pay phone, so that he knew to come get you. Which involved tears approximately 73.8% of the time.

And, if you’re old like me, you might remember those very cool hand-lettered signs that the local sign painters made:

hand painted sign
(source)
(Now we computerize this stuff, so it’s easy.  Which is why it’s fun to learn to do it by hand again, via Skill Share!  We are such contrary beings.)
Anyway, I will add my two cents, and that’s that we should not hate on folks, whether they are single-spacers, or two-spacers.  No judging for how folks choose their spacing.  There might be rules, but when rules change mid-stream, we’re allowed to follow the old ones.
Some of the most successful bloggers don’t even USE “end marks” or “stops”, which is what periods/exclamation points/question marks can be called.  Some of the most successful bloggers feel that ellipses (…) are their best friends.  What do you suggest THOSE bloggers do?  Is there a limit to the number of spaces after…..

Stop the hate.


22 comments:

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i am not over 40 and i do the two spaces. i'm either wise beyond my years or an older woman than i thought.

Linda at French Hollow said...

LOL! I actually got points marked off of a typing test because I did not have two spaces after a sentence. That was on the new fancy IBM Selectrics we got in high school. Guess I can't lie about my age...

Bliss said...

And Linda brings up a good point.... fear of the typing teacher will forever have me use two spaces, although maybe not on FB or twitter where length is a shady fellow.

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I resemble that ellipses remark! And I'm trying to switch from a two-spacer to a one-spacer ...

See how I didn't really end that thought ...

:) Linda

Jan said...

Its crazy what bothers some people. Know what I mean?

northoftabor said...

I was taught with two spaces but have conformed to using just one. I reserve the right to use ellipses but only when I'm confused or forgot what I was going to say. I need a new punctuation mark (or maybe we can repurpose one that is rarely used) that indicates I was preoccupied and put the ham in the glassware cupboard or my keys in the silverware drawer.

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

I say to these people...for the love of all that is good in this world...stop being an asshole.
World problems...solved.

Marty Walden said...

Ha! This is funny! I'm no longer a two spacer but it took me a while. Tim and I have a long running conversation on the use of commas. It's long running because I forget we've talked about it and looked it up on the internet. Of course, I'm right and he's just comma happy, but oh well. :)

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Sometimes, I still can feel my typing teacher standing behind me, watching over my shoulder. Sometimes, I would be better off it were my English teacher.

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

I struggle enough putting words together that I don't stress too much on the punctuation .... I figure no one really cares and IF they do, I don't care ;-) Great post Kirby! Happy Sunday!

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

I am so over the grammar police. For one thing as an Aussie I was taught "the queens" English, meaning I spell lots of things slightly different. Also it's been 20 years since high school, I don't remember every single rule about spaces punctuation ect and lastly typos, we all have them especially on gadgets made by apple. 1 space two spaces I don't care, the only thing that gets my goat is text talk. U no it's not gr8 2 read. Plus I can be really lazy on the iPad typing on a screen with one finger.

Maureen Wyatt said...

I'd have to stop and think about the end of every, single sentence I type to make the switch to one space. Folks will just have to live with me leaving two.

Feral Turtle said...

This is the first I have heard about the one space period???? I hope the period police don't get me. I have two spaces now......and that' all I want! Maybe the pitter patter of little spaces would be nice in a few years though!

Debbie Borthwick said...

Well, I'm close to 60 and don't remember being taught 2 spaces after a period in typing. Was it different up here? I don't know...maybe I'm just forgetful, it was a long time ago, but I've never done 2 spaces. But, when I do write, I use a lot of...
Debbie :)

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Amen! Two spaces are better than none, and as someone who learned to type back in 1977 I reserve the right to continue my two space habit!
xo Heidi
PS... Feedburner has been very funky; this is the first post of yours I've had in my inbox in weeks! Just letting you know... :-)

Cheryl in Wisconsin said...

I was trained to use two spaces. I use two spaces now. I will continue to do so. What kind of free time does someone have to have to be able to complain about things like that?

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Are these "young" people the same ones that can't use too, to, two, their, they're, there, it's, its, your, you're correctly? That say "I seen it?" That use a comma every third word? There are so few people that know when grammar and punctuation are correct or incorrect. And in the light of all the things that are happening in the world these days I say fuck off you twits!

Art and Sand said...

I am slowly moving from two spaces to one, but I more fun reading the comments, sorry Kirby, than I did the post. Was that enough commas?

Sharon @ mrshinesclass said...

I learned to type in the '80s and it was 2 spaces then. I don't think I'll be able to break that habit anytime soon.

The cool thing about being dated is that it gives the next generation something to remember us by, like how I remember my grandparents saying ice box and filling station. It's endearing.

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

I heard two teenage kids laughing at their grandmother whom they said, "Couldn't even write!" Later, I realized the grandmother had written something instead of printing it and the kids couldn't read it so they decreed that she couldn't write. Oh, boy...

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Funny!

andi filante said...

Okay, I learned with 2 spaces. Then for years (when I was in desktop publishing) I always ONLY used one space. When I got out of that biz, I went back to 2 spaces. I think one space looks correct on publications (books, magazines, etc.), but in the "real world," I think 2 spaces look correct.

However, I don't hate either way. Now, if you say "drug" instead of "dragged," that will bring out the hater...

-andi

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