Don’t we have better things to worry about? I keep seeing this issue pop up. I even read a really self-rightous article about the double-space pop up in Slate, that went on to damn and demean anyone still putting two spaces after a period. The nerve!
Here’s the thing: I learned to type in 9th grade. We used computers with monochrome screens. Before that, I was a hunt-and-peck specialist. My typing teacher was a strict old dame who used to remove the letters from our keyboards so we couldn’t cheat and look at our hands. She was the person who taught me to put two spaces after ever period. She practically horse whipped it into us. It’s more than habit, it’s muscle memory.
Is it outdated? Yes. Does it need to be done anymore? No. Am I going to retrain myself to type with one space despite 19 years of writing with two? No. I’ll put two spaces after my periods until the day someone drowns me in a lake.
“But, my editor prefers one space after a period,” you say. “What’s a poor writer to do?” Write your damn book. When you’re done, use Edit and Replace to replace all your ” ” with ” “. I just did it. 4,797 replacements in 5 seconds.
Everyone is happy. Problem solved.
Now, let’s talk about the Oxford Comma…