Chuck's Right Foot

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Guess what!??!

It appears that the typical number of spaces beaten into us at a young ages (double space after a period) is no longer the norm...

Now it is just one space. I'm not sure I can retrain myself that quickly, but I guess it will free up some space on the Personal Statement.
 

DrMidlife

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//geek on

Double spacing after punctuation comes from the typewriter era, when all characters were the same width (called "fixed pitch"). This is profoundly less pleasing to the eye than typeset text, in which the amount of space after any character (including punctuation) was set by hand to be balanced in its surroundings. Typesetters had spaces the width of a lower case L, N or M to choose from, and could mix and match (just like Garanimals.) And now their names, "el," "en" and "em," exist only in Scrabble.

Come the era of computing, and proportional fonts, we no longer have to compensate for awkward character layout. And from a graphic design (or cognitive) standpoint, a double space after punctuation simply decreases readability.

Note that I double spaced throughout this post. I learned to type on a typewriter in 6th grade.

//geek off
 

FourMoreYears

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I never noticed this until now. Holy crap. I can't stop doing it. I need two spaces after each period.
 

rogue0722

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I, too learned to double space after a period. Apparently though that is not the expected norm, but thus far I've never had a professor or otherwise who has taken points off for it it. I think it is the new standard but the old "two space" is just being phased out.

I used one space in this post. It doesn't feel right to me.
 

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It's second nature to me to use double spaces after the period-- it just doesn't feel or look right to me with just a single space. That said, I did "cheat" on my PS and secondary essays that had character limits by using the single space. I had to type it out in a word doc, then search/replace all the double spaces with single space though, b/c I couldn't train myself to do it while typing!
 

2008orbust

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This is so funny! Let's hear it for the old school typewriters we all learned on. (that was double spaced)
 
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Chuck's Right Foot

Chuck's Right Foot

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This is so funny! Let's hear it for the old school typewriters we all learned on. (that was double spaced)
I'm 29, so when I learned to type, PCs were common in schools, but many didn't have them at home... And all the typing teachers were still stuck in the typewriter mentality...
 

177983

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I'm 29, so when I learned to type, PCs were common in schools, but many didn't have them at home... And all the typing teachers were still stuck in the typewriter mentality...
I'm not so sure this is a thing of the past. My wife just finished her Master's thesis in history, and she had to double-space after every period. She did it with only one, but her advisor read her first chapter and gave her grief for it. So, it's not necessarily gone. I think either way you'll be fine.
 

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Color me stupid because I thought that was still a rule.

But I did learn how to type on a maual typewriter.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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I double space after periods still also. And I did my whole dissertation that way, as well as my AMCAS essay. :laugh:
 

Omashu

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i'm 27. I was taught 2 spaces after a period.
 

ShyRem

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Yup. Two spaces after a period. And I, too, learned how to type on a manual typewriter in 6th grade.

yoikes. manual typewriter. :eek:
 

Nevadanteater

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//geek on

...

//geek off
I'm so glad other people know this too.

Font/Type Geek Power!

I don't think I'll ever be able to stop double spacing.
It took me FOREVER to learn NOT to do it while texting on my phone.
 

speeter

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I learned to double space after a period, and I'm only 22. We learned to type in 4th grade (1994) on Apple computers.
 

HanginInThere

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I'm so glad other people know this too.

Font/Type Geek Power!

I don't think I'll ever be able to stop double spacing.
It took me FOREVER to learn NOT to do it while texting on my phone.
The bolded portion automatically disqualifies you from posting to a "For Us Oldtimers..." thread. Sorry.



Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!



Played around on my mom's manual typewriter when I was little, learned the home keys in grade school on a succession of Apple ]['s, Commodore 64's, and Apple //e's. I still double-space between sentences. And I hate it when applications/browsers/websites (like this one!) edit my text to remove the second space.
 

Empi

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I assumed this was a relatively geek-friendly venue.
 

sunny1

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omigosh thank you for posting this. I haaaaaaaaate two spaces after the period. Yes, that's what we were "supposed" to do back in the day, but now it's for sure one space after the period. It just looks much cleaner and simpler to me.
 

ExtremeUnderdog

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/************************
Grumpy Environmentalist Rant
************************/
The amount of paper and bandwidth saved will be well worth the effort of retraining oneself to use only 1 space. Most college papers, notes, oversized printouts of PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc. are useless tripe for which hundreds (thousands?) of trees are destroyed each year. We can at least try to save a few by reducing the white space on those papers. I won't get into the bandwidth issue - the geeks all understand it, and the others don't care, so I'll just potentially be wasting more for no good reason.
// End rant
 

spicedmanna

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Yup. Two spaces after a period. And I, too, learned how to type on a manual typewriter in 6th grade.

yoikes. manual typewriter. :eek:
Likewise. I learned how to formally type on a manual typewriter in high school and I was taught to put two spaces after a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Also, I was an administrative assistant for a while. I just can't help it. It's just how I type. I guess I'm considered old school now. Go figure.
 

spicedmanna

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The amount of paper and bandwidth saved will be well worth the effort of retraining oneself to use only 1 space. Most college papers, notes, oversized printouts of PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc. are useless tripe for which hundreds (thousands?) of trees are destroyed each year. We can at least try to save a few by reducing the white space on those papers. I won't get into the bandwidth issue - the geeks all understand it, and the others don't care, so I'll just potentially be wasting more for no good reason.
// End rant
Huh, good point. Never thought of it that way. My habit is hard to break, so hopefully editor programs will have a few lines of code that modifies my sentences to have only one space after a period.
 

MaddieMay

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I'd stick to two spaces until the MLA says otherwise. You won't get dinged for not saving trees, but you might for making an obvious mistake.
 

brookliner7

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lol, yeah, I'm a doubly spaced trained 28 y/o that learned on the apples with the 5 1/4" floppy drives.
(oregon trail was the shizznit back then!)


 

Nanon

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I learned to double space after a period, and I'm only 22. We learned to type in 4th grade (1994) on Apple computers.
I got married in 1994. :laugh:

One space just feels... wrong. But the environmental/bandwidth argument is a good one, so I will try. I will. I'm doing it right now, but it burns.
 
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Chuck's Right Foot

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I got married in 1994. :laugh:

One space just feels... wrong. But the environmental/bandwidth argument is a good one, so I will try. I will. I'm doing it right now, but it burns.
For those of us writing personal statements for applications, it can save a few characters too :)
 

Nanon

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For those of us writing personal statements for applications, it can save a few characters too :)
That's true! And I am one among that group. Lord knows, I need each and every character, because I'm 1000 years old and have a lot of 'splaining to do. :D

S.
 

SamSt1

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//geek on

Double spacing after punctuation comes from the typewriter era, when all characters were the same width (called "fixed pitch"). This is profoundly less pleasing to the eye than typeset text, in which the amount of space after any character (including punctuation) was set by hand to be balanced in its surroundings. Typesetters had spaces the width of a lower case L, N or M to choose from, and could mix and match (just like Garanimals.) And now their names, "el," "en" and "em," exist only in Scrabble.

Come the era of computing, and proportional fonts, we no longer have to compensate for awkward character layout. And from a graphic design (or cognitive) standpoint, a double space after punctuation simply decreases readability.

Note that I double spaced throughout this post. I learned to type on a typewriter in 6th grade.

//geek off

Seriously?
 

spicedmanna

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Seriously?
Why is that so surprising? When I was in early grade school, I typed the majority of my home work assignments using a typewriter. Computers had not yet made it to the home, affordably. I remember going to the office with my father, who was a computer guy, and the computers were the size of entire rooms with tape drives and punch cards. Eventually, we got our first home computer...a big, old IBM x486 with 32 MB of disk space and it ran on DOS, but I later installed Windows 3.11 on it. The first computer I really used and got to know was an Apple IIe, however. It booted up in BASIC. I think was like 10, or 11, or something...

Still, I remember using my typewriter for a lot of my work, for a while, anyway, until I eventually started using word processing programs (Wordperfect) on the old IBM, during HS... I remember printing my work out with a dot-matrix printer, but we eventually got an HP home laser printer, toward the end of HS.

When I started college, the Internet hadn't been around that long and my first web browser was not a graphical one; it was text-based. I remember getting good at using the Unix Shell and with Telnet.
 

DrMidlife

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Seriously?
Yep. A whole classroom with one ancient, beige IBM manual on each desktop. We had to type in unison while the teacher spoke ("a, s, d, f. j, k, l, ; - and now capitals..."). Then we typed through lessons in a book. We had timed tests every Friday. We learned that the carat sign (shift-6) is correctly typed with a left shift.

I broke 100 wpm at age 11. I'm really very proud of that.
 

Nanon

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Why is that so surprising? When I was in early grade school, I typed the majority of my home work assignments using a typewriter. Computers had not yet made it to the home, affordably. I remember going to the office with my father, who was a computer guy, and the computers were the size of entire rooms with tape drives and punch cards. Eventually, we got our first home computer...a big, old IBM x486 with 32 MB of disk space and it ran on DOS, but I later installed Windows 3.11 on it. The first computer I really used and got to know was an Apple IIe, however. It booted up in BASIC. I think was like 10, or 11, or something...

Still, I remember using my typewriter for a lot of my work, for a while, anyway, until I eventually started using word processing programs (Wordperfect) on the old IBM, during HS... I remember printing my work out with a dot-matrix printer, but we eventually got an HP home laser printer, toward the end of HS.

When I started college, the Internet hadn't been around that long and my first web browser was not a graphical one; it was text-based. I remember getting good at using the Unix Shell and with Telnet.
I was reading this to my husband. I said, "It sounds like he's about our age." He said, "No. I think he's about 5 to 10 years younger than us. If I was on that board, I'd call him a nugget. Respectfully, of course."

:love: I love that man of mine. :laugh:

He thinks the text-based browser you probably used was "Lynx." He's a network security analyst at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, so he's a font of bizarre computer based info like that.
 

Nanon

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Yep. A whole classroom with one ancient, beige IBM manual on each desktop. We had to type in unison while the teacher spoke ("a, s, d, f. j, k, l, ; - and now capitals..."). Then we typed through lessons in a book. We had timed tests every Friday. We learned that the carat sign (shift-6) is correctly typed with a left shift.

I broke 100 wpm at age 11. I'm really very proud of that.
Ah, yes. I remember that. And you should be proud... I'm almost 40, and have yet to break 60 wpm. Almost, though.
 

Orthodoc40

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//geek on

Double spacing after punctuation comes from the typewriter era, when all characters were the same width (called "fixed pitch"). This is profoundly less pleasing to the eye than typeset text, in which the amount of space after any character (including punctuation) was set by hand to be balanced in its surroundings. Typesetters had spaces the width of a lower case L, N or M to choose from, and could mix and match (just like Garanimals.) And now their names, "el," "en" and "em," exist only in Scrabble.

Come the era of computing, and proportional fonts, we no longer have to compensate for awkward character layout. And from a graphic design (or cognitive) standpoint, a double space after punctuation simply decreases readability.

Note that I double spaced throughout this post. I learned to type on a typewriter in 6th grade.

//geek off
We were in 7th grade but it is ingrained. Double space after periods. It is the correct way to do it & it can't be undone. There's also a double space before zip codes. But anyway....

I have heard that single spacing is more used with today's computer type, but I don't know if it is "correct" or just something adopted because it's handy and doable.

Whatever. For my PS, I actually fought myself and went to single spaces after periods to save myself exactly the number of characters I needed to fit it all in. But I went through the entire thing so that they were uniformly all just 1 space. Still irks me to think about, and yet....life goes on. Here I am.
 

Orthodoc40

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Yep. A whole classroom with one ancient, beige IBM manual on each desktop. We had to type in unison while the teacher spoke ("a, s, d, f. j, k, l, ; - and now capitals..."). Then we typed through lessons in a book. We had timed tests every Friday. We learned that the carat sign (shift-6) is correctly typed with a left shift.

I broke 100 wpm at age 11. I'm really very proud of that.
LOL!!! Oh boy does that bring in clear memories of the same thing. "a, s, d, f. j, k, l, sem"....

It's hard to imagine that my classmates have never had to put a new piece of white paper into that typewriter, line it up all nice and straight, and start retyping the page you were half way through in your report assignment when you noticed that you'd left out an entire 2 lines. There was no other way to fix it but start the page over...
 

spicedmanna

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I was reading this to my husband. I said, "It sounds like he's about our age." He said, "No. I think he's about 5 to 10 years younger than us. If I was on that board, I'd call him a nugget. Respectfully, of course."
:laugh: Yeah, I just turned 35 not long ago. Not any worse for the wear, usually, but definitely feel my age sometimes, especially staying up late to study for exams (all-nighters) and when I am doing stuff with my much younger colleagues in medical school.

He thinks the text-based browser you probably used was "Lynx." He's a network security analyst at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, so he's a font of bizarre computer based info like that.
Yes, that's precisely the browser I used. :thumbup:
 

Sol Rosenberg

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/************************
Grumpy Environmentalist Rant
************************/
The amount of paper and bandwidth saved will be well worth the effort of retraining oneself to use only 1 space. Most college papers, notes, oversized printouts of PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc. are useless tripe for which hundreds (thousands?) of trees are destroyed each year. We can at least try to save a few by reducing the white space on those papers. I won't get into the bandwidth issue - the geeks all understand it, and the others don't care, so I'll just potentially be wasting more for no good reason.
// End rant
:rolleyes:

It has also been determined that in order to save bndwdth, the word "bandwidth," should be abbreviated as bndwdth. Thanks for your cooperation.
 

4paw

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I learned to double space after a period, and I'm only 22. We learned to type in 4th grade (1994) on Apple computers.
I'm 31 - in fourth grade, we had a couple PETs in the library, and there were a few commodore 64s around. Lemonade stand, anyone?

We were supposed to learn how to start up the thing, and i just couldn't see the point. Like, where is this going already? Apparently it only went as far as to be able to programme a cursor moving around a screen. That's when I believe I jumped off the front wave of being a programmer in the whole dot-com era, and I went for the women's studies degree instead when I grew up :)

i think i single space. so i guess i'm one of the folks out there changing our typing rules. i love how language is like that - it always shifts and changes, it's truly living.
 

gogirl

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You're not that old! I'm 21, and I've been doing the double space after a period ever since I learned how to type. Although everyone else I talked to in my age group ridiculed me for doing so...

But fear not, you're not old. :)
 

Klemptor

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Whoa whoa whoa...no more two spaces after a period? ...I don't think I can break that habit!

Nice old thread resurrection ;)
 

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Oh, boy....wouldn't save any paper or trees at the undergrad I went to. 20 page paper in 10 pt type double spaced is just that.

I typed between 110 wpm & 135 wpm w/ 2 errors/pg from 6th grade on, and at that rate, I am not going to change the number of spaces after periods without consideraly reducing the speed and increasing errors. My time is worth more than stressing over what is more popular, space wise, in todays writing.
 

student1799

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I was firmly in the double-space camp, but after doing my PS and 27 secondaries with a single space after the period, I'm used to it and can't go back to the old way. I'm not exactly happy about it, but the rest of the world is there already. (In fact, on SDN and my Blackberry, if I put in two spaces, the software reduces it to one.)
 

ChandutheMagici

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(oregon trail was the shizznit back then!)

Dude, it was the sh!t? No...it is the SH!T. I got through all of 7th grade typing playing that game. The best was giving the kids names based on your genitalia. Ah, good times.

Oh yeah, 2 spaces for sure. See, I just did 2 spaces.
 

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I also learned to type on a manual typewriter where a couple of the keys were busted. It took me years to reteach myself not to pound the sh** out of my "H" key. But boy, when I started typing on the high-tech IBM Selectric I was such a bad-ass that I could reinsert a letter and use the "erase" key to lift off the typo completely.

I still double-space after periods, although I didn't on my AMCAS personal statement. I felt such profound guilt, though. I still double space when I text (in complete sentences, I might add.) I was also taught that the correct punctuation of a parenthetical statement at the end of the sentence was (like this.) With the period within the parentheses, for typesetting reasons. I actually got dinged for this on a few papers. And as far as I'm concerned, double space before zip code is THE LAW. I might be dating myself, but I don't care. When I grow up, I'm going to be a cougar.
 

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I double space after a period when I type... it is so ingrained in me, I even double space after a period when I am texting on my cell phone, even though it angers me because I reach my 160 character sooner than i should :laugh:
 

ali20685

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I was always taught that either way was fine as long as it was consistent throughout the paper. I tend to use one space because it allows my writing to flow easier.