Good evening my friends. It’s been awhile. I could go into this long dissertation as to why I wasn’t writing; but why. When I told my cat the story, he just kind of looked at me like: does it look like I care? So I’m going to assume you don’t either, nor should you. The bottom line is I neglected my writing duties. I’ll have the boss lady flog me with a wet noodle.
The first 100 days of our new president’s presidency has been….entertaining. Whether you are on the right or left – Mr. Trump is OUR president; and he deserves the recognition and respect that the office demands. For my fellow Americans on the left – get over it. We are all in this together, stop you’re whining and move forward for the betterment of the country. For my fellow Americans on the right – Trump is not all that and a bag of chips. He has baggage, a lot of baggage. I started writing what, in my opinion, his pros and cons were. I deleted that after I wrote it because…I didn’t want the blowback from some of my….more intense…. readers.
So, in the spirit of unification, I would like to discuss something of importance to all of us in this great land.
I learned to type on a typewriter (yes kids…a typewriter). We had it beaten into us that there were TWO spaces after a sentence ends. I have been trying to shift to just one, and you may see in my writing that I bounce back and forth, I’m still a work in progress. Sara Boboltz wrote an entertaining, and enlightening article for the Huffington Post. She writes an entertaining journey of indecision. She cited a poll (however unscientific) of 23 middle school and high school teachers their preference. What is interesting is that there was indecision there too…
- 9 said two were best. Their reasoning was it makes essays easier to read or that is the way they were taught. One of them stated the extra space could be helpful for kids that had trouble reading.
- 5 said one was best. Their primary reasoning, two spaces looks dated.
- 8 were neutral.
- 1 required both styles. One space for school newspaper articles, and two for essays.
No wonder there is so much disagreement! Our teachers cannot even decide (Hey congress…there’s something you could regulate) how many spaces there should be. Does it really matter? Not to me. I’ll put in one or two depending upon my mood. I’m trying to get to just one, but my fingers just don’t cooperate. There has to be some guidance right? So what do the big three writing style guides have to say about it?
- MLA – “Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces. Whichever spacing you choose, be sure to use it consistently throughout your paper.”
- APA – “Punctuation—return to two spaces after the period at the end of the sentence recommended for ease of reading comprehension.”
- Chicago Manual of Style – “CMOS follows the industry standard of one space after a period.”
- A fun article regarding spaces and the Chicago Manual of Style.
As you can see, even the big three disagree. This is a topic of vast debate. The Grammer Girl uses HTML coding as an example of one space, a pretty interesting read. Brian Klems, in his Blog “The Writer’s Dig” makes the case for the industry standard. He also suggests a quick tip: Simply write as you always would (with two spaces) and, when you are finished, got to the toolbar of your word processing program, click EDIT > FIND > REPLACE and then choose to replace all double spaces with single spaces. You’re a wise man Mr. Klems. I just may have to take advantage of this tip!
Be safe out there, this world is getting nuts, is there something in the water?