Friday, November 29, 2013

1259 The Two Space Twostep

1259 The Two Space Twostep

How many spaces do you leave between sentences?  Two, right?

Wrong.  That’s old fashioned. That’s outdated.

Mr. Corcoran of Moote Pointe Junior High School (est 1952) insisted to his typing class that you must… Must… MUST leave two spaces between sentences.

That kind of thing stays with you.  It becomes habit.  Kicking the habit requires rehab.  There IS no rehab.

If you’ve been putting two spaces between sentences since the invention of the typewriter, you’re probably a lifer.

Modern typographical protocol insists on one space between sentences.

Big deal, right?  Right.  If you want to make two spaces, what’s to keep you from doing so?

Word processing programs, that’s what.

You come to the end of a line and finish a sentence and if you put two spaces between them right near the end of the line, your next sentence automatically starts on the next line and is automatically indented.

That makes the page look ugly.  And ugly is the major no no in both print and television.

So when you’re finished writing, you have to go back and fix all those indentations.  You’d be surprised at how many of your sentences end in places where two spaces will cause jagged margins.

Why two spaces?  So your readers will know without fail that a new sentence is starting.  This comes from the time when a single space between typed sentences made the page look crowded.

Modern fonts eliminate that problem.  And, like all else solved by computer, inflict new and different damage.

In the ranks of problems, this is not up there with the Philippines typhoon, Healthcare.gov or the Cross Bronx Expressway.  But still… it’s a daily annoyance which the programming geniuses at Microsoft, Google and Open Office could fix with a few lines of code.

As you know, computers all give you 25 ways to perform a task where one or two would do and most of the time you need none.  But they give you zero ways to perform a task that you long to execute.

As he prepares to exit Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer could bestow his second greatest gift by fixing this problem. (The greatest gift he leaves in exiting Microsoft is exiting Microsoft.  And take Windows 8 with you, Steverino.)

Mr. Corcoran is spinning in his grave.  Help him stop.

Shrapnel:

--Note to Wall Street: get real.  The stock market is in a bubble.  With the Dow over 16-thousand, there’s nowhere to go but down.
--NBC’s coverage of the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade was an endless stream of live short commercials interspersed with actual commercials.  Roker and Lauer looked scruffy in beards.  And Savannah Guthrie is looking more Couric-esque every day -- which has to be good for ratings.

--Dedicated and life-long New Yorkers agree there are three days a year when no rational human being should be in Manhattan and Thanksgiving is one of them. The other two are July Fourth and New Year’s Eve.  There used to be four such days but St. Patrick’s Day has calmed to a dull roar.

Grapeshot:

-Because of current economic condishins Wesays has been forced to make hard desishins about staffing levels which include wat we hope will be only the temporary furloughing      of our copy editder ,

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to Wes Richards@gmail.com

© WJR 2013

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