Where, oh where has that little space gone

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After a recent read on a blog, I noticed something…and noticed it again on another, and another and another.

What comes at the end of a sentence when you are typing?  Or, what did you learn?

I learned in middle school typing (which was done on the first apple computers with word processors) that after a period comes two spaces.  And, after other punctuation, there is one space.

But now, I notice that people only put one space after the end of the sentence.  This isn’t right?  I can’t do it.  My finger thumb automatically hits space twice after every period.  It doesn’t even think about it, it just does it!  (And, it’s always my right thumb, too, incase you were wondering.  I don’t double space with my left thumb).

So do I have to conform and change my typing ways?  I’m such a non-conformist, but I keep hearing that “blog copy” should only have one space after the period at the end of a sentence.  True?

What do you do?  Two spaces or one?  Is this a change or something new for you?  Help.  I need to know.  But, remember that doesn’t mean I’m changing my ways.

 


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40 Comments

  1. My sister is editor and owner of her own magazine, she makes fun of me for double spaces.

    1. So where they never there and I was lied to? Or is it different in print?

      Or are some people just too lazy to hit the space bar twice?

  2. This is so funny because at a workshop I had on Friday we were discussing this same dilemma. I, too, in my middle school computer class learned two double space after every period, but somewhere in high school or college the rule changed in a class I was in and I had to get used to a single space instead. I now only do a single space after any punctuation. This was seriously a hot topic for us teachers the other day, and it was divided. Some still do a double space and others, like me, remember learning it was no longer a requirement at some point in time….hmmm…wonder who is right?

      1. I’m saying that both are right…like people that say care-a-mel and car-mel!

  3. I use to put two spaces after a period for the longest time. But due to my laziness I stopped! My 9th grade daughter says that her English teacher still makes them put two spaces after a period! So I guess it is still a practice that is in use!

    I say do what is comfortable for you & don’t worry about it!

    Oh and for the record, I use the space bar with my right thumb only as well!!! Just tried to change to my left and I completely missed the space bar!

    1. Yeah, totally can’t do it left-handed, either!

      Good to know it’s still in practice…somewhere.

  4. when i first read this i thought that’s weird i didn’t know that rule. but the more i am thinking about it, the more i think i might actually remember this from typing 101. although i am sure i ignored it then just like i seem to ignore it now. you know me and punctuation.

  5. Just like you, I do two. 🙂 What’s that they say about old dogs and new tricks? Merry Christmas to you!

    1. Yep, totally an old dog here! Glad I’m not alone.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.

  6. It’s so funny that you write this because I was just noticing and wondering about this too. I used to double space but then got out of the habit.

    1. How does one get out of the habit? I’ve tried to write a post with single spacing and I can’t do it…like I have to think about it and it’s hard.

  7. A couple of years ago, I was doing transcription for closed captioning, and I had to make the switch to one space after the period. It felt unnatural for a while, but I’m used to it now. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I tried it and it was too hard for me! Maybe if I was getting paid, it’d be easier to switch:)

  8. mrs. hils says:

    A certain copywriter, with whom I am well acquainted, gets very frustarted when folks use two spaces. He tells me that two spacing went out long ago. Who knew?

    1. Well, you know that he and I have different opinions!

      I want to know when the two spacing went out…please check with him. I’m not that old! And, how does one learn to only do one space.

  9. Girl, I work in the corporate communications department of my company and I STILL do 2 spaces.

    They tell me it’s not ‘necessary’ but whatever. I’m doing it the way I want until they tell me my pay depends on it.

    =)

    1. Oh, you are making me feel so much better! I’m with you, as soon as I HAVE to change, why should I?

  10. I tend to only do one space, but I don’t think there’s any good reason why you should have to switch unless an employer tells you to. And in the blogging world, you are fairly self-employed. 🙂

    1. Amen! I said above, if my “pay” starts to depend on it, maybe I’ll change. But, I do wonder when it switched..I know I had it drilled in my head to do two at some point.

  11. I do one! But, I’m a math/science mind not a grammar one! So, don’t trust me.

    1. Oh, I’m totally a math/science mind (BS and MS in Chemistry:)…but I’m also a rule follower….did you learn one in school, or it’s sort of what you do?

  12. I am a right thumb, two space kinda girl. Not sure if that is the proper way to do it or not. I doubt I will change it because old habits die hard.

  13. I do 2 spaces out of habit also, but internet has changed this quite a bit. So much so that html naturally only recognizes one space, if you want more, you have to put in the html space code [ &nbsp ] to get more spaces.

    It drives me batty. I talked with my sister, the english teacher, about this. She said that the beauty of the English language is that it’s fluid and dynamic and changes over time with changes in culture and it’s perfectly acceptable to have this happen.

    On an aside … it’s also grammatically correct to not have a comma in your list before the last item of the list.

    I learned: I need to get some eggs, milk, bread, and cheese at the store.

    But now it’s okay to say, I need to get some eggs, milk, bread and cheese at the store.

    And to further drive you batty …… an entry on “teh” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teh

    1. Really? You know, I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at the html to see if it’s been taking away all that work of adding in those extra spaced. Dang it!

      I think I learned the same thing about the commas in a list with and!

      Now this “teh” business..nonsense. That’s a crock!

  14. I used to double space–it was seriously drilled into my head in school and college.

    Then I started blogging and realized that a majority of the blogs were single spaced. I like it much better and it’s easier for me to read now 🙂

    1. Really, the extra space at the end of a sentence makes it harder to read? I never thought about that.

  15. I’m a two-space kinda girl too! Learned that in school and I used to be on auto-mode as well when it came to typing two spaces. Since texting however is limited in characters I’ve started to use only one even in regular typed texts (or even none in a textmessage if I want to cram it all in!)

    1. I think I even double space my text messages..I just can’t do it.

  16. Candice Ganser says:

    I say 2! It’s in your brain! I do it because the Navy taught that way. The only time I don’t automatically do it is when I am on my iPod.

  17. I was taught to do two spaces, but maybe I’m just lazy. I only do one now!

    1. I tried to be lazy..I couldn’t do one. My fingers/thumb automatically do two.

  18. I think we must be in the lost generation of double spacing. I remember double spaces being drilled into us, but I had to go back for some paper in grad school and take out the double spaces. It cured me for life!

    1. Maybe that’s it…it’s just our generation! You seriously had to go and remove the extra space at the end of a sentence? I would have boycotted.

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