Monday, November 09, 2009

Manic Monday


It’s just another manic Monday.

You know, Monday is the day of the week you wake up and realize it’s not the weekend and you must face another week of work. My work consist of writing, teaching,cleaning, washing, folding, scrubbing,vacuuming, cooking, raking, and that is just the beginning.

That is why I say it is a manic Monday because the whole week begins again with the notion, “What’s on the agenda for this week?”

On my blog my work is lessons of the written word, or spoken word, or just Thee Word.We’ve come a long way in learning the proper etiquette in writing. You know some people strive at the craft for years and never get anywhere, when some people who don’t even aspire to write, get published?

It’s not a freak of nature my friends, really. It’s a blessing.

On manic Monday my post must remain short so I can get to the gazillion other things that I must get to.

First on my lesson for the week is the period! No not the monthly type, the period at the end of a sentence. Okay maybe it isn’t even the period or other punctuation, it’s space, not outer space mind you, it’s the space after the period.

I was taught that on the written page, one space after the period is sufficient but last night I had a discussion where someone else was taught that two spaces were sufficient. This led me to wonder what is correct in the writer’s world. I sure wish June would pop in because I consider her to be a grammar pro and a very reliable source of information.

Anyway, this is what I’ve found on the subject. One versus two is a place where the discussion was mainly about on the web page spacing then it turns into an English grammar lesson. He said to “use as you wish” the info on his page, so here is the gist of the discussion.

Kathy Gill told him that the current typographic standard for a single space after the period is a reflection of the power of proportionally spaced fonts.

"The only reason that two spaces were used after a period during the 'typewriter' age was because original typewriters had monospaced fonts -- the extra space was needed for the eye to pick up on the beginning of a new sentence. That need is negated w/proportional space type, hence [it is] the typographic standard."

The design and Publishing Center went on to say:

"In the days of typewriter manuscripts the extra space was necessary to separate the ends and beginnings of sentences. The space character never changed. With the advent of electronic typesetting, the software attempts to 'fit' the type to specific line lengths, it both expands or contracts the available space to make the type fit. Word spacing is where most of this space 'play' takes place."

and they went on:

"With two spaces, there is 'more' space to play with, and if space is added (which is most often the case) the results are white spots, and in some cases "rivers" of blank spots in the body of text. This makes the body both unattractive as a visual element, and distracting to read."

Now it’s your turn writing friends. Which is proper? I know what my editor friends will say, “one space”. But I want my grammar friends to tell me what is right!

Deep sigh here...I will continue to dig this one six feet into the ground until I find something concrete that I can give you!

But for now I must go. Autumn beauty awaits as manic Monday beckons me.

2 comments:

Stormcrow said...

I'm still using two spaces. :P

R said...

In typing class in high school, we were taught to use 2 spaces. It wasn't until years later, writing papers in college, that I was informed one space was adequate. I never knew about the typewriter reason. That explains the seemingly sudden switch.

You know what I've noticed with the screen reader? Sometimes I need to go character by character to spell out a word. I've noticed by accident doing this with Facebook updates, that almost everyone puts a space after the last character in a sentence, even if they are done typing. I don't know why I find that interesting.