All right, all right, keep the extra space
Lordy, you’d think I was trying to take away their guns.
Yesterday, in what I imagined to be an innocuous post, I pointed out that, unless you insist on using a typewriter, it is no longer necessary, or advisable, to type two spaces after a period or colon. In fact, editors have to delete the unnecessary spaces for publication.
Almost immediately a commenter accused me of having a “hissy fit,” and here and on Facebook the responses have come in along the lines of “my grandfather typed two spaces after a period, my father typed two spaces after a period, I’ve typed two spaces after a period since I was a little boy, and, by gosh, by gee, by gum ...”—well, you can see for yourselves.
I used a manual typewriter at The Flemingsburg Gazette forty years ago, and manual and electric typewriters in graduate school, and I always dutifully typed two spaces after a period. Then, in 1980, I went to work at The Cincinnati Enquirer and discovered that one doesn’t do that in a proportional font. So I stopped. Haven’t done it in years. Frankly, don’t see what the big deal is.
But now, I suppose, I should start looking over my shoulder to see whether Sarah Palin is coming after me for abridgin’ our constitutional liberties.
Rather than that, let me urge you to keep putting in those superfluous spaces as long as you like. This is America. I’ll still have to take them out, but, after all, brain-dead mechanical work is what drudges are for.