by Marinka on July 23, 2013

I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, not updating often, but I have a great excuse in the first degree. I’ve been plotting murder, also in the first degree, and a coverup. I have alibi witnesses all lined up and just need a Patsy to pin this whole thing on, so if you’re in (and live in Florida), just leave me a comment.

Oh, so this whole murder thing. I’m working on a new and exciting and secret writing project with an exciting and secret partner. So we wrote about half of it and then I said to him/her (unlike the Royal watchers, I’m not obsessed with gender) “can you take a look at what I have and maybe mark it up?” and MME (My Mortal Enemy) said “sure!” and then I get the document back and instead of the expected “brilliant!” annotations, I see that every time I used two spaces after a period, MME edited one of them out. The first eighty times I was ok with it, but by the 81st, I snapped.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” I emailed MME. “Why would you do this to a kind and loving person?”

And MME responded with some nonsense that I didn’t bother reading because I heard that you’re not supposed to humanize your intended victim. I mean “you’re not supposed to humanize someone else’s intended victim.”

So, here’s the problem. I know that the accepted format is one space after a period because typography, blah blah blah. But don’t you think that if someone likes putting two spaces after a period because she grew up in antediluvian days before there were computers, you should just accept it and not correct it every single time?

I mean, I was going to make this into an I’m Right, You’re Wrong question, but I don’t want to contaminate the potential jury pool.

Disclaimer: Murder is wrong. Don’t murder anyone.

One year ago ...

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Loukia July 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

Oh, hey! Do people still read/comment on blog posts still? 😉


Jannie July 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

Huh? When did the “two spaces after punctuation” rule go out of style? Hold tight to your morals (see the two spaces?), and stand your ground, Marinka! Two spaces rule!


Bonnie B. July 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

I was taught that way too, back in the ancient days of typing class in high school. Not gonna change now, dammit. And I’m doing two spaces after every period in this comment, too. I say murder is what they deserve, but then, I haven’t been properly caffeinated yet.


Anna July 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

First, I think it is very frustrating to get that kind of feedback as it is so trivial compared to the actual writing. Second, I used to stick to two spaces (oh and I see I just did it) until a friend, who happens to be my age and also work as an editor, told me to remove one space from a cover letter. She said it is just the way things are now, and if I wanted to appear modern, or at minimum not old-fashioned, I should give up the two spaces. I did, though I didn’t get the job. I’d better have a talk with this “friend” about her “advice.”


susan weinstein July 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I also have been stymied about the period. Is two spaces the norm, an alternative usage, or an error. I let spell check decide, and it always redlined the space. Computer programs know everything. Do not think, it is not in style.


July 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

YME sounds mean. Really mean.


July 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I still double-space myself. Maybe your “friend” couldn’t find anything else wrong, so – in a fit of envy – she got all nit-picky on you. Nothing worse than an editor with nothing to edit. We have to make stuff up.


July 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I think it depends so whether you’re being consistent or not. That is, if you’re putting in two spaces after the period each time, then that’s just your affectation, uh, I mean, quirky style, and your understandably-stressed writing partner should be forgiven. However if you sometimes use one space and sometimes two spaces, depending on your whim, then your partner should be pushed to the front of the canonization line in front of that dead pope, and you should put on trial for Crimes Against Humanity. IMHO.


joeinvegas July 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I hope he was as detailed in other areas and comments. Please don’t shoot him.


sueinithaca July 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Not to out myself at *too* much of a nerd, but you can always tell your nemesis that you are following the most recent recommendations for APA format:

As of 2012, the double-space is back, bitches! Now if only we could get my macbook air keyboard to sound like a typewriter…


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes July 24, 2013 at 4:30 am

And now I will forever obsess over how many spaces to put after a period.


Stephanie Hobson July 26, 2013 at 12:01 am

No kidding!


dusty earth mother July 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

Two spaces after a period is so 1970’s Russia.


The mama bird diaries
July 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

I used to double space too. It’s over. Very 1994. Please don’t murder me.


July 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm

If I have a choice between two periods or one period, I’m picking one period. I hate giving Tampax any more of my money than I have to.


July 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm

A) anyone who can use “antediluvian” correctly in a sentence is clearly very smart;
B) deleting the second space after each period is what copy-editors are for (among other things);
C) most people prefer to focus on revising the ideas of a piece of writing before fixing its punctuation, on the off chance that, you know, a sentence (or paragraph, or page, or chapter) will get deleted in revision, thereby making all the sentence-level/punctuation corrections moot;
D) all of the above.


August 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

Fuck. Single. Spacing.

[I may have a lead for you. You know. Named Patsy.]


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