Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Give Your Space Bar a Vacation

I was all prepared to let this entry stand as a chuckle toward this Slacker Manager entry about how to use body language to give people a clue that they should leave your office—now. Admittedly, I perform the Fast Walk technique quite a bit, but am thinking about trying my hand, er, mouth at the Lip Smack technique real soon. I may even get brazen and try the Slow Clap, too.

Alas, the coolness of the writer’s wit, for me, was somewhat overshadowed by his forcing double spaces between sentences. C’mon, people, aren’t we over that practice yet? Every modern application politely chastises you in love to not do double spaces, and this old-schooler actually manages to get a   tag followed by a regular space between every sentence. I can’t even think of any editor that automatically does that, causing me to believe he’s doing it by hand.

Face it, double spaces between sentences died along with the Selectric™ typewriter. Why else do you think word processors often default to removing double spaces for you. Why else would web browsers not render more than one space in a row unless they’re surrounded with <pre> tags or some sort of stunt such as yours is employed to force them? Modern typefaces are designed to look best with just one space between sentences.

(Heh, no ill will intended. Just a little pet peeve of mine. Seriously—great worker-avoidance ideas!)

» Posted by ALBj at 01:08 AM (ET)
Category: Funny, Rant


Good point about the double spaces…total force of habit, and I’m not even 40! Actually, (see? no doubles) I just learned about the “new” single space rule, but my right thumb hasn’t quite caught on.

Thanks for the elbow in the ribs…

» Posted by Bren
March 9, 2005 01:36 AM

The Selectric isn’t dead yet, and double spacing apparently isn’t dead yet either, because the web page you linked to is full of double spaces between sentences. We’ll keep this stupid habit going as long as possible…..

» Posted by Jim
March 9, 2005 09:52 AM

It took me a few months to get over the habit. I think I’ve been double-space free for several months now.

» Posted by Queue
March 10, 2005 09:21 PM

Double spaced? Okey, not on the net. Fine. But what do publishers do just before print time? Do print publishers discard greater than a single space between sentences?


» Posted by WmRobt
October 26, 2005 08:30 PM

I can’t say this for every publisher, but one of the first things I do when I import a text file into my layout is search for all instances of multiple spaces and zap ‘em, taking care to watch if the original typist used many spaces to line up some items, in which case I recreate the alignment with tabs or a table.

If you’re talking about the press itself, a good press won’t mess with your document when you turn it in to them. Any press that takes it upon themselves to remove double spacing from a client’s document should be stayed away from, since doing so might potentially re-wrap the lines of text—bad bad bad.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
October 26, 2005 09:47 PM

Thus a good publisher will “space-out”, but a good press will just space.

» Posted by Queue
November 1, 2005 01:48 AM

Bren: that web page was made by someone who learned to type on manual typewriters, and double spaces after a sentence was just the way things were done.

» Posted by Jim F
February 1, 2006 01:22 PM

Sorry, due to comment spam abuse, new comments on this entry are closed until I find time to upgrade Movable Type and enable registration and moderation.