"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, May 18, 2015

Period!


You need to know this about me. I learned to type on a typewriter. Manual. In the classroom, there was one electric typewriter, and we all had one turn using it.
I subscribe to Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) because, as we all know, my grammar and punctuation skills are lacking. I nearly had a breakdown reading a recent article on the spacing between a period at the end of a sentence and the beginning letter of the next sentence.
I take periods seriously.
Grammar Girl said, and I quote, I haven’t been tempted to type two spaces for decades. It’s not like quitting smoking. I don’t find myself in nostalgic typewriting situations and suddenly get hit by an unexpected urge to type two spaces.”
I knew about the rule, but I didn't realize we're talking "decades" that the rule has existed. Were computers even used two decades ago? Okay they were, but barely.I touched my first computer in 1982--a Tandy. The next time would be 1991. 

Now back to periods.
GG may not have the urge to hit her space bar twice, but I still do. I can’t help it. I’m an impulsive, grammarless girl with twitchy fingers.
Do you know why we did the two-space after the period? We can blame the typesetters of yesteryear for that rule. “The story of spaces after periods is often told as though monospaced typewriter fonts needed two spaces after a sentence for good readability, and that the wide availability of proportional fonts on computers led to the switch to one space." Grammar Girl (Source)
What’s next?
  • I let you into my personal space?
  • I read with my eyes closed?
  • We suck in each other’s used air?  
  • And…howaboutsentenceswithnospacebetweenthewords? How do you like that one?
That’s all, except, please help me feel older by telling me on which machine you learned to type: Manual typewriter, electric typewriter or computer keyboard. If you say your cell phone, I will ignore you. 
Read the entire entertaining article on spacing after periods at Quick and Dirty Tips, here.
--Teresa 

23 comments:

  1. I has typing in the 10th grade. After 6 weeks, I was told to take a totally different class. The click/click-ding unnerved me every time. I was an epic fail.

    When I went to college 10 years later, I taught myself how to type. My first 13 page paper took me a whole week to type. Now I type at 50 words a minute. That's doable.

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  2. I've been typing so long I can barely remember and it's so ingrained to do two spaces after a period that I don't see my ever changing that.

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  3. I learned on an old Royal that my grandmother had. I taught myself to type by typing the first few chapters of Boswell's Life because I couldn't fit typing into my class schedule. I still can't type numbers without looking. There were many of those in that biography. :-)

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  4. I learned on an old Royal that my grandmother had. I taught myself to type by typing the first few chapters of Boswell's Life because I couldn't fit typing into my class schedule. I still can't type numbers without looking. There were many of those in that biography. :-)

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  5. I came after it was gone, so it is only one space for me. Never knew why it was two until now though

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  6. I learned to type on a manual typewriter and we didn't even know about electric typewriters; I learned Pitman's shorthand at the same time. It never occurred to us that shorthand would be obsolete or, come to that, that secretaries would be virtually obsolete. Certainly the type that took their notepad into the bosses office for dictation. By the time I came to Canada, computers were certainly in use but personal computers were not. I was told I would never manage a computer because I was lousy at math. Now I am on mine all the time. No phone though.

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  7. I learned to type on a manual. Not well, but I did learn. I think we got rid of our electric almost twenty years ago.

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  8. I learned to type on a manual. Typing was one of the most useful classes I ever took. I hated typing on a manual, but didn't like electrics much better. I was always making mistakes and erasing holes into the paper or using a lot of white out. I'm so thankful for word computer programs.

    I almost always put a couple of spaces between sentences.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

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  9. A manual typewriter. Which I still have, though I don't use it.
    And I still put two spaces after a period. A dinosaur revealed...

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  10. Two spaces after a sentence is a worse habit to kick than cocaine (I'm only guessing here). It doesn't look correct, never will!

    I learned on a manual with typewriter erasers and stuck keys! Like you, one electric in class and it was treasured for increasing our word speed. Oh and the glory of correct a type...whatever it was called. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

    My first computer was built for me in the mid eighties. I soon discovered delete was not my best friend. I went through the computer's insides and deleted everything that made no sense and for me, that was a lot! Needless to say, they did have to rebuild it for me!

    I detest phones and texting. Some days I even long for the emotional outlet "returning the carriage" on a manual gave to me!

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  11. I learned on a manuel that my mom had. She was fast and I wasn't. In junior high we had a bunch of manuel typewriters. The next year we got electrics.In my senior year we had a form of work processor, I think. you could type something paragraphs at a time. Can I say I hated carbon paper and whiteout?
    I started using a computer late 80's early 90's. Didn't get my own computer until '98. Up until '07 i still typed two spaces between sentences. My critique partner broke me of the habit. I don't even think about it now. My son learned how to type on a computer starting in second grade. He's 20 now and quite fast. Hubs, however, learned on a manuel and then in the Navy, had a sargent that thought eveyone should use a manuel--what if they were somewhere where there wasn't electricity? Do you know he had to type 70 wpm on a manuel to pass his legal course in the navy? That's hard to do on an electric much less an manual. He's still super fast. At my peak the best I could do was 70wpm. I much preferred having a secretary in my professional life. I just dictated my reports and article and someone else worried about typing them.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  12. I learned on a manual typewriter because my parents thought it was better to learn on a manual than an electric? At least, that's what sticks in my mind as the reason. I still put in 2 periods, but my editors take them out in one swoop with a find/replace feature of some kind. :)

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  13. Hi Teresa .. a manual one too ... and I struggled. I was going to suggest Elizabeth's way of removing the double spaces .... and I'd do that when the time comes ....... what I do with those things "........" I've no idea?! Cheers Hilary

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  14. I learned on an electric typewriter at school, but wrote on a manual at home. And I still put two spaces after my periods. It was also a pre-PC time when the word "Oriental" was perfectly fine to use. Lydia Kang just recently told me it was "Asian," thank you very much.

    So now, I use "Asian" so as to not offend anyone unintentionally. I had my character, Samuel McCord (who has been around a couple of centuries) comment on "Oriental" versus "Asian" in his own unique way in DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE, set in 1895 Cairo,

    Sorry that life has kept me from your blog. Is everything all right? It's been awhile since your last post. Just concerned is all. :-)

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  15. It's not decades. At least not for anything produced professionally. I have a publishing manual from 2007 that still recommends two spaces. And in the sciences, where I publish by day, some journals STILL as for two spaces. I type two because sometimes I need two, then I do a find and replace at the end. It is an easy fix to "replace all (space space) with just (space) than it is to go the other direction.

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  16. I think it had more to do with the Internet than just the computer. Even when I was in college in the 90s doing everything on the computer, we were still supposed to leave two spaces. The Internet and the untrained masses have changed many things, though.

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  17. I grew up on a computer. I've never even used a typewriter, although I have one in my blog header (it was my wife's).There's something nostalgic and romantic about it, although I'm sure I would have had a terrible time from a practical point of view!

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  18. I dabbled with a seriously, seriously, seriously old manual typewrite using the old modified four finger hunt and peck when I was in high school. Switched to a computer keyboard using the same method, which one day made my supervisor at the time so bonkers that she sent me to a weeklong class on the art of keyboarding in the mid 90's.

    I eventually learned to type up to 35 WPM, but as the years progressed and medical issues sank their talons in, the speed got slower and slower. I'm down to about 10 WPM.

    However, I discovered something really strange back in the 90's when I was able to type with fluidity. If I decide to use a electronic typewriter, I found I was able to up my speed to somewhere in the mid to hi 40's.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  19. LOL You are too funny. I learned on a manual so yes it took some practice going to one space. I remember being so happy when I bought my first electric one and I typed stories on it. The first book I ever wrote was on a computer in the nineties.

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  20. My thumb still wants to hit twice after periods, too. I learned on a manual typewriter, one of my prized possessions. This was so much fun to read, and I love that you used the elite font for it. Remember when our only choices were elite and pica?

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  21. I learned on my aunt's old portable manual typewriter that she gave me to play with. But I'm a one-space girl now.

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  22. It took me awhile, but I forced myself to hit the space bar once. I took a typing class in high school, and so old habits die hard!

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  23. Luckily, there's a search function on Word that let's one find and replace double spaces with single spaces.

    As for breathing each other's used air: That's Air Conditioning, if you think about it. And sentences with no spaces between the words get used in twitter hashtags. ;-P

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