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Completely Spaced Out

Are you getting older and more annoying? (Hint – if you’re not dead, the answer’s probably ‘yes.’)

Do you need a quick test to find out if other people are going to be able to tell? Even if you color your hair and “get work done” you’re still not going to be able to hide. Certain things will give you away to your more youthful and less annoying friends and acquaintances. This is one of them.

How many spaces do you put after a sentence?

It’s a pretty simple question, isn’t it? The fact that I’m asking it at all is proof that I’m fighting a losing battle against unplanned obsolescence. Young and Sharp people don’t ask this question, because they are blessed with the certainty of their age and the consistency of their life experiences.

I’ve been using HTML for more than 15 years. Finally, today, after noticing that every on-line editing program I use, including WordPress, requires one space after a period in order for the justification feature to work properly, and after noticing that I still choose to put two spaces after a period into all of my other written work, I decided to ask the question. I typed, “What happened to putting two spaces after a sentence?” into my browser and hit ‘enter.’

The first article I got was entitled “Space Invaders – Why You Should Never Ever Put Two Spaces After a Period.” Then I read a considerably more gentle, less dogmatic piece called “One Versus Two Spaces After a Period.” Finally, desktop publishers argue that you should Use One Space Between Sentences. They also offer constructive help in removing the extra spaces from old documents.

Sometimes it pays to ask the question, even if it takes a few years longer for the question to come to mind than might be ideal. OK, so now we put one, not two, spaces between sentences. Why? Because we no longer use old-fashioned typewriters with fixed-width fonts! Very good. Got it. I’m going to Make Change My Friend.

Oh wow, man. I’m like, totally spaced out. Or maybe it’s more like being “spaced in” since now there’s less room…

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