I Can Admit When I'm Wrong

I can admit when I'm wrong. Sometimes it just takes me awhile.

For years now I've been helping my kids type their assignments. Please don't lecture me. I know they can and probably should do it themselves, but I'm a really fast typist (or should I say keyboardist), so sometimes it's just quicker and easier if I help them out.

Many times they've noticed that I double space after the period at the end of the sentence. I was taught to do that in typing, back when it was called typing. I guess there's a clue right there. I took a typing class. My kids take keyboarding classes. I type two spaces. They type one. They've asked me to do it the way they've been taught, which I do while grumbling about it being wrong.

So here I am today, working on my manuscript--the one that has been accepted for publication. The one that I've worked on and poured over to have it grammatically and typographically perfect. One of the first sentences in the letter of revision requests is to go through and change ALL THE SPACING TO SINGLE SPACING AT THE END OF THE SENTENCE.

CRAP! I say to myself. I've been wrong all this time? My grumbling was just an older generation's insecurities about change and arrogance thinking I'm right. So I follow their instructions (yes, they gave step-by-step instructions to help me through the painful process) and create a manuscript with single spacing at the end of each sentence.

Now, you may wonder, as I did, if they really are right. (Just a sidenote: I'm struggling to single space right now, but I'm determined to teach this old dog a new trick and become proficient at the sentence-ending single space.) According to several websites, double spacing at the end of a sentence is a relic left over from the days of typewriters--those antique writing instruments that were nearly impossible to correct, made revising difficult and made loud, snapping noises. The single space is perfectly fine now because fonts are programmed to space our text beautifully without us having to worry about it. Some programs, have quietly and sneakily fixed this for us. If you look back at past postings on any of my blogs, you'll see single spacing and you'll surely be impressed. Sadly, that is because Blogger has been correcting my mistakes ever since I started blogging.

Now I've been my mother-in-law's go-to gal for anything computer-related for many years now, so I'm not a computer idiot. But with regard to the question of sentence-ending spacing, I am now resolved to move into the twenty-first century. I get it now. I may have to back-space a hundred-thousand times before it comes naturally, but I'm a smart woman and I know that with a positive attitude and an iron will, I will get it.


Mindy said...

I learned to double space too, and still do it automatically. Oh look, just double spaced there. Old habits die hard. ;)

Rebecca Adams said...

That's interesting! I didn't know kids these days are being taught to single space after a period. When I was in school we double spaced...and I'm not THAT old. I noticed blogger changes it automatically, but I never thought anything of it. I think it's going to be hard for all of us "older generation" to change to single spacing.

Jason said...

What?!? When did this single-spacing thing happen?

alison said...

Im glad that you have enlightened me. I'm still double spacing...dang, one more thing to try to change. :0)

Leslie said...

i didn't know it had changed to single spacing at the end of sentences. this made me laugh.