Author Topic: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore  (Read 357 times)

notthatamanda

TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« on: August 13, 2019, 09:45:22 AM »
I know I'm old but this really drove it home for me.  Can't believe I missed the memo.  The interoffice memo with everybody's name on it that you cross off after you read it.  Who crossed my name off?  Kidding, I know exactly who it was.
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 11:32:44 AM »
Pfft.  It's probably the same people that think using proper punctuation and spelling in text messages is rude.

Quote
"Did you mention the rules? Now, listen. Bit of advice. Tell me the truth if you think you know it, lay down the law, if you’re feeling brave. But, Daleks, never, ever tell me the rules."
~The Doctor
     
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 05:54:00 PM »
Pfft.  It's probably the same people that think using proper punctuation and spelling in text messages is rude.


In a world in which the comma has become an all-purpose punctuation mark, probably due to it being the weakest mark and therefore the easiest to abuse, proper use of periods and semicolons is a revolutionary act.

And if you really want to hoist the black flag and start slitting throats, then you'll use colons, too.
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VanessaC

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 07:06:05 PM »
I still naturally put the two spaces in - I don't bother editing emails, blog posts, etc, but I do a find and replace on my books before they're uploaded. and often find that I've randomly put in multiple spaces for no good reason ...

I will happily join the revolution - I always use punctuation and full words in text messages. I've even been known to use a semi colon in my books, and the occasional colon in my day job. We need a flag!!

And as another random thought on writing, one of the businesses I worked for had a "house style" that insisted that you did not ever put "Dear John" or "Hi John" at the start of emails - you were just supposed to put the email address and then launch into the email text. I think they also had rules about how you were supposed to sign off emails, too. I think that's quite widespread practice, and I hate it. You wouldn't ever send a letter with just someone's address and then launch into the body of the letter. It's rude. So, all my emails had a "Dear John" or "Hi John" or equivalent to start with.

Sorry for the rant. I feel better now. As you were.

 :icon_mrgreen:
     

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Vinjii

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 07:13:43 PM »
Despite learning to type on a typewriter in the mid-90's, I was never taught the double space rule, and I'm glad. I'm a creature of habit, and I'd be typing two spaces for all of eternity.

When I moved from Switzerland to England, I got an English keyboard...I figured since the only difference is the y and z are inverted, I'd just get used to it.

Wrong. Every bloody punctuation mark is in a different place.

I gave up very quickly, and am now typing with Swiss settings on an English keyboard, eternally confusing my other half.
 

notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 08:11:26 PM »
I still naturally put the two spaces in - I don't bother editing emails, blog posts, etc, but I do a find and replace on my books before they're uploaded. and often find that I've randomly put in multiple spaces for no good reason ...

I will happily join the revolution - I always use punctuation and full words in text messages. I've even been known to use a semi colon in my books, and the occasional colon in my day job. We need a flag!!

And as another random thought on writing, one of the businesses I worked for had a "house style" that insisted that you did not ever put "Dear John" or "Hi John" at the start of emails - you were just supposed to put the email address and then launch into the email text. I think they also had rules about how you were supposed to sign off emails, too. I think that's quite widespread practice, and I hate it. You wouldn't ever send a letter with just someone's address and then launch into the body of the letter. It's rude. So, all my emails had a "Dear John" or "Hi John" or equivalent to start with.

Sorry for the rant. I feel better now. As you were.

 :icon_mrgreen:
I had a manager who insisted we enter all our notes in the customer data base in all caps because they insisted that was more readable.   :HB
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Simon Haynes

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 08:38:09 PM »
I had a manager who insisted we enter all our notes in the customer data base in all caps because they insisted that was more readable.   :HB
I didn't do it.

Where I worked, I used to write all the software.  That would have been a case (hah) of one line of code: notes = notes.toupper();

Then people could have entered it in lower case and everyone would be happy.


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VanessaC

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 08:54:38 PM »
I had a manager who insisted we enter all our notes in the customer data base in all caps because they insisted that was more readable.   :HB
I didn't do it.

Nope, nope and nope. I'm with you there. Perhaps you should have sent all communications to him in ALL CAPS as he clearly loved it, and it would have been a fantastically passive aggressive way of making your point ... (I'm getting more evil as I get older).
     

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RiverRun

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 09:17:56 PM »
When I first started dropping the second space, I thought I would never get used to it. But once I got the hang of it, I found it saved me a lot of trouble. Just think how many useless key hits that little rule has saved me! I'm glad they changed it. I find it much harder to remember the oxford comma though. It always looks wrong to me even when it isn't.
 

notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 09:27:27 PM »
Yeah, it's not a big deal to me to change it, if it's for a reason that makes sense, in this case, the scalable font.   And I'm really glad I found it out before I started getting all my books into print.  The google results were pretty brutal though, one was, "You know you're over 40 if you still put two spaces in after a period."

I thought the Oxford comma was a regional thing.  Commas are just tough no matter what.  I probably use too many of them.  I hear my elementary school teachers saying "commas are like parentheses".  Oh man parentheses is a whole other ball of wax.
 

Llano

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2019, 11:40:49 PM »
Two spaces between sentences, or at least extra space, has some historical precedent. In the days of handset type it was not uncommon to use a thin space between words and an en space between sentences. When justifying a line it was easier to add more space between sentences than to add a very small space between every word on the line. This magnified the effect.

This continued in the early days of machine set type, both Monotype and Linotype. A hundred years ago extra space between sentences was common in books. The practice faded over the years for books, and was rarely used in newspapers due to space limitations. By the time phototypesetting became ascendant the extra space between sentences was virtually extinct and died a well-deserved death as phototypesetting took over. Some of the later front-end systems for phototypesetting actually stripped multiple word spaces. If you wanted extra space, you were forced to use fixed spaces.

For whatever reason, two spaces between sentences became the norm with typewriters and remained that way until those machines faded into history. Some carried the practice over into word processing, some didn't. The younger few generations probably don't do it because they never laid hands on a typewriter.

Extra space between sentences in typesetting has not been common for at least 75 years. Until now, of course, as self-publishers of a certain age just can't seem to grasp the difference between typing and typesetting and continue to slap the bar twice after a period just as they were taught all those years ago.

The one that really galls me , however , is people who put a space on both sides of a comma.
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 12:51:43 AM »
Someone should make a USB keyboard with a space bar and a double-space bar.  grint
     
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 12:57:20 AM »
I had a manager who insisted we enter all our notes in the customer data base in all caps because they insisted that was more readable.   :HB
I didn't do it.

We do personalized mailings for a customer who has entries in their database mixed, sometimes in the same record.  So, you'll see an entry for someone like "JANE Doe."  And then it would look silly for the message to be addressed to "Dear JANE" so I have to go through and fix it, which I could automate if not for last names like McCoy which would end up as Mccoy unless I make an exception in the script for "Mc" but then there would be "Mac" and what happens when you have "MacDonald" versus "Maccaroy" or something?  Oy.

Far easier to get things right at the point of entry which is when the name is entered into the database.  Easy enough to switch to ALL CAPS when necessary, as when addressing the outer mail piece.
     
 

notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 01:15:13 AM »
He just couldn't type and I get that it was easier for him to do it all in caps, but the amount of times I heard him insist it was because it was more readable...
We had separate fields for the company names and contact names.  Those were all properly capitalized, it was the notes fields where you could literally have paragraphs of history, all in caps if he had done them that was the issue.
 

ingobernable

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 03:44:36 AM »
When I see two spaces, it's harder for me to focus on the text. My first instinct is to try to fix it like I do when I edit my books, and then, when I go back to reread the text, I imagine it's being said with huge pauses in between as if a very old person was struggling to speak. It drives me crazy because it feels like something is missing, but I'm pretty sure I started noticing it only after I became an author because my proofreader kept finding an extra space here and there, so I learned to look for those.
 

dgcasey

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Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2019, 04:11:33 AM »
Quote
"Did you mention the rules? Now, listen. Bit of advice. Tell me the truth if you think you know it, lay down the law, if you’re feeling brave. But, Daleks, never, ever tell me the rules."
~The Doctor

Wow! My favorite episode of the Doctor. As you could probably tell from my tagline.

As for extra spaces after periods, it took me more than a month to stop hitting that space twice when I decided to make the change. It was my editor that refused to edit my manuscripts until I went through and got rid of every double space. What a pain in the butt she is. If she wasn't my daughter, I'd fire her.   Grin
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Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2019, 04:51:21 AM »
One of the reasons I think the two spaces may have persisted into word processing to some extent was the way in which proportional fonts worked early on. I remember thinking that sometimes the space for the sentence break looked too small to be clear. (In the same way, justified text was a freak show in the beginning--even short lines got justified, sometimes with hideous results.)

As word processing software got better at handling proportional fonts, the single space was more than for sentence breaks. Since publishing had already adopted the single space, as had web design, it became nature to make it universal


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Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2019, 05:16:31 AM »
Well, to toss some fuel on the flames . . .

The Oxford comma

 :haironfire

 :hehe
     
 

notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2019, 05:32:47 AM »
Pro Owl, Anti Oxford Comma.
 

Kristen.s.walker

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2019, 11:09:46 AM »
You will pry the Oxford Comma out of my cold, dead hands.
 

notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2019, 11:29:44 AM »
You guys need to google Opus runs for president on the two spaces after the comma platform. Not to be bossy.
 

JRTomlin

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2019, 12:34:39 PM »
I use full words and correct punctuation in Twitter which makes me a full-blown Luddite.  :hehe

ETA: I go back after my first draft and put in the Oxford comma. I grew up not using it and my mind still refuses to admit that such a thing exists. 😜
 

cecilia_writer

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2019, 10:57:14 PM »
I'm the secretary of a local committee and one of the others often drafts policies and papers and then asks me to tidy them up. I can cope with almost everything else but her use of a space before and after commas drives me to the brink of despair!
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notthatamanda

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2019, 11:01:08 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen that.  Is it because they are typing and they hit the space bar after the word?  Sometimes I do that but I go back and put the comma where is belongs.
 

cecilia_writer

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2019, 11:06:34 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen that.  Is it because they are typing and they hit the space bar after the word?  Sometimes I do that but I go back and put the comma where is belongs.

I suppose it might be that, but it happens almost every time so I am sure she thinks it's the right thing to do. (There is no sign that she has ever gone back to change it!)
Cecilia Peartree - Woman of Mystery
 

VanessaC

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2019, 11:07:46 PM »
I use full words and correct punctuation in Twitter which makes me a full-blown Luddite.  :hehe

ETA: I go back after my first draft and put in the Oxford comma. I grew up not using it and my mind still refuses to admit that such a thing exists. 😜

I never used to see the purpose or benefit to the Oxford comma until I had a light edit on my first book and thought it was helpful.  It's still not automatic, but I find it helpful. Of course, I often also make up my own grammar rules, too ...  :hehe

I'm the secretary of a local committee and one of the others often drafts policies and papers and then asks me to tidy them up. I can cope with almost everything else but her use of a space before and after commas drives me to the brink of despair!

Now, that's just wrong. At least with today's software a find and replace shouldn't take too long.
     

Genre: Fantasy
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2019, 01:19:13 AM »
Saw something yesterday where they had put a space before the comma but not after.

There is also the matter of ellipses.  There is an actual ellipsis glyph in most fonts (…) but apparently you're not supposed to use it.  You're supposed to use three periods with a space in between (. . .) instead.  In any event, the proper form is three dots.  Not two dots, not four dots and certainly not an endless number of dots . . . . . .  Oy.  Three dots, spaces debatable.  (...)

Anyway, I remember many moons ago, in my English class, we had to do a group report or story or something.  Sad that I cannot even remember what it was.  Anyway, my group stayed after school one day to use the computer to work on it.  We each took turns at the computer.  Well, the maniac before me had used an ellipsis at the end of a sentence, which was fine but . . . back then, there was no (to my knowledge) ellipsis character on an Apple IIe keyboard.  So, despite my protests, he had typed several dots like a crazy person.

So, of course, as soon as I got on the computer, and much to the others' protests that I was wasting time, I went back (arrow keys, no mouse) and made it three periods as was proper form.  Three, not five or seven or however many he had typed.  Three!

It was a group paper, after all, and I didn't want to have a lower grade because someone couldn't follow basic punctuation rules.

As a side note, not only do I not remember what the report or story or whatever was about, I also don't remember the grade on it.  But, for sure, we didn't get penalized for using an improper ellipsis.  ;)
     
 

JRTomlin

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2019, 02:31:58 AM »
Oh, ellipses, which I admit to having a passing fondness for (my editor says OVERfondness) can be a matter of huge debate depending on which style guide you use. Space before and after? No space before and after? Space between each 'dot'? five or ten 'dots'? Or the despised keyboard ellipsis? It may be nearly as abused as the poor comma.  :icon_rofl:
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: TIL you don't put two spaces after a period anymore
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2019, 02:34:13 AM »
Are commas nothing more than depressed right single quote marks?  :icon_think: