Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm not changing

I have always put two spaces at the end of my typed sentences.  I know for sure that my typing teacher in high school told me to double space after every sentence, and I've always done as she taught.  Apparently, a single space is correct, and I have been doing it wrong.

My facebook friend Elizabeth shared a link to this article:  Space Invaders Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period. By Farhad Manjoo.  For those of you too lazy to follow the link, it basically just says:
"Shep, you are completely wrong for putting two spaces after your periods.  Man, you're an idiot!"
I paraphrased there.  You can read it yourself if you want a more complete understanding of the article.

I didn't believe Farhad Majoo, but I checked a couple of books and magazines.  I looked at his references, and I googled the subject.  Apparently, he is right.  I have been wrong all these years.  I am an idiot, just like he said.

I also went and checked a bunch of blogs.  Apparently, most bloggers know the rule, because the majority of the blogs that I checked seem to be following the correct format.  It was just barely a majority in my admittedly limited poll of blogs.  It was indeed a majority none-the-less.

You know what, though?  I am not going to change.  I've decided that it is not worth the effort.  The faq at the Modern Language Association (which is probably the most official reference I found) even says:
"As a practical matter, however, there is nothing wrong with using two spaces after concluding punctuation marks unless an instructor or editor requests that you do otherwise."
So, Farhad's claim that I'm an idiot is a bit harsh, and you might even say unfair. 

Elizabeth says that she is trying to change.  I'm not going to.  I refuse to.  Maybe when I eliminate all my other imperfections, I'll work on the correct end-of-sentence spacing, but until then, I'm not going to worry about it.

Just for the record, though, if you say "your" when you really mean "you're", I still think that you are (you're) an idiot.


  1. Shep -- I was taught the same thing by my English and typing teacher in school as you (we're the same age). Long live the two spaces!

  2. Thanks for the support, Mr. Anonymous.