You see, earlier today, I was typing up a little blog post like this one, and I was becoming increasingly frustrated that my blog editor was requiring me to drastically change my typing style. Back about a million years ago, when I was in junior high or high school, I learned that when you type, these are the rules:
- two spaces after a period or colon
- one space after a comma or semi-colon
I have no idea when I might have learned this. I never took a typing class, so it was probably some English teacher for whom I had to type up papers. Good student that I was, I learned these rules and have followed them ever since. But after my first blog post, I realized that if I put in the two spaces after a period, it was throwing off all of my alignments. It made my posts look really bad.
Now I had heard something somewhere about how formatting rules had changed and how the whole two space thing after periods had been abandoned. But I chalked that up to lowering grammatical standards, like teaching children that it's now ok to say "fishes" for the plural of "fish" or the fact that most newspaper style guides recommend against using the Oxford comma. Rubbish. I will not be participate in the dumbing down or loosening of standards just because people don't like them or are too lazy to follow them. This is the proper way to type, so this is how I type. (Yes, yes. I'm a bit of a prude. What's your point?)
It's been annoying me that every time I type a blog post I have to be extra careful to not type two spaces after the period. I type a lot for my job and this just something my fingers do without me thinking about it, so it really does require that I pay attention to it. So after a bit of typing today, my frustration with my inability to remember if I've typed in two spaces or one was growing. So I decided to Google it. And what do you know? I was 100% wrong. At least according to this Slate Article and also this Grammer Girl Article. They both basically say that the reason for the two spaces was a rule for typewriters that used mono-spaced fonts. If you're not typing with a mono-spaced font (I'm not), then one space is the rule.
So I now publicly admit that I was wrong about the two spaces and have already begun attempting to retrain my fingers to use the one space rule.
But I am not backing down on the Oxford comma. It just makes sense, people. It looks better and it lessens ambiguity - no matter what Vampire Weekend says.