My 2006 self. Gah.

Is it a low point or a high point when you begin to quote yourself? I am thinking the former… yes, most likely former. Double gah (but one space!).

As I’m sitting here working, I keep referencing the CSPA Stylebook for things like “5 a.m.” and “I before E, but neither leisured foreign sovereign seized the heifer on the weird heights”. Digression at its finest, my question is do we put one or two spaces after a sentence? After a bit of research, here is a very simplified explanation: I am going to continue to use one space because typographists have preplanned the width of the whitespace to accomodate the period. Unless you are using a typewriter or the monospaced or fixed-width fonts like Courier, I’d put two. Is it really worth it to put two spaces to improve readiability despite designers’ efforts to make a good type font with preplanned kearning already? Using two spaces is an extra wasted keystroke where a single space serves its function nicely. Double spaces are typically removed for typesetting prior to print publication and who needs more white space anyway? There is no reason that sentence-ending punctuation should follow any different rules from clause-ending punctuation. Capitalization of the first letter neatly signals the end of one structure and the next, so no other typography is needed. Finally, on the World Wide Web, double spaces get truncated into a single space unless you put a non-breaking space “ ”; however, some browsers even join those concurrent spaces into a single space! Looks like I am going to take a Typography class..
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3 thoughts on “My 2006 self. Gah.”

  1. I remember the exact moment in high school when I had to go back and delete all the extra spaces for print publication. And my response to my editor was far less articulate, far more meta though: “Wow. It’s like… wasting… space… slowly.”

  2. “Find + replace,” or extreme editor patience, either way, I remember very vividly my shock and confusion. I even remember in 3rd grade, in the computer lab, our teachers telling us to always double-space after the period. PARADIGM SHIFTS!?! Or space bar shifts.

    Blog comments are fun.

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