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May 17, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/17/2006 10:36:00 AM
How many times do you hit the space bar after each sentence?  If your answer is one, then today’s rant is your chance to gloat.  But if like me, your answer is two, then take two aspirin before reading on.  

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Ok, here we go.  

On 02/01/06, I came across this at faith*in*fiction.  

“Just use one space after closing punctuation. I know the rule used to be two, but that was a formatting tip relevant to typewriters. Computer word processors don't have the same limitations. I don't know anybody who still wants two spaces between sentences.”

I was DOOMED!  Every sentence I’ve ever written has that extra space behind it.  

“Stupid, stupid, stupid” I said, pounding my head on the keyboard.

“I know dear” my wife comforted me.

I needed chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.

It was too much. I had to walk away from it for a few months.  But this last weekend I started the tedious process of removing those extra spaces..., one by one. (the exorcism didn’t work)

As of yesterday, I’ve subjugated almost 10,000 of those evil little beasts.  I had to take today off to allow my eyes to uncross, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

I used to have interns to do these kinds of things.  Man, retirement sucks.


Links to this post:



At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger Rulan

I use one space, but I can understand how you must be feeling. I feel for you.

When I changed from piddly little tesktop publisher to a real computer, I had to reformat my whole book... space by space, word by word, line by line.

Talk about eye crossing. It was worse than being carsick. All those words and pages scrolling past my face made me giddy.

Until then, I had never used a pc before, but I tell you what, I learned an amazing amount in a very short time. And I learned that Ctrl z was my favorite saftey net.

Here, have a cup of coffee and slice of blueberry pie.


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Thanks for the pie and coffee.

The funny thing is, my writing books said to add the extra space. But then I realized that they were written in the 70’s. Time for new books I guess. lol


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger jel

poor poor David,


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Thanks Janice...

I feel like a bag dog.

It's ruff, ruff, ruff.

"Stop barking, they will hear you!" says the disembodied voice.


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger Gina Burgess

David, I cry ARRRG! See? The two spaces. I can't stop it. It is ingrained in my thumb. How do you stop when you type 60 words a minute but taking out the extra space drops your pace to 40? OR 30? Blogger, tho, takes out the extra space automatically... is that cool or what?


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant


So you never got the memo either? Argh is right. Well said.

My writing suffers big time, because I spend more time taking out the spaces than I do writing.

I need chocolate.


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger Rulan

No chocolate. Keep working. Keep deleting those spaces. Crack the whip.
Muahahahahaha :)


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Crack the whip? Man...

Some people smell blood and they pile on.



At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger A Real Man

I WILL NEVER SURRENDER MY EXTRA SPACE!!!!!! See I did it again. When did this change take place again? I have absolutely no clue what I am talking about. Not an unusual occurance with me. Too much and too many changes in our world today. Homosexual marriage, Terrorists run amok, now only on space between sentences in writing on the computer. What's next, automobiles that run on electricity?

IHS, Craig


At Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant


Those extra spaces are part of a fiendish plot to rob us of our collective will.

Soon gay’s married to terrorists will round us all up and force us to run “amock” in solar powered cars.

Personally, I think Microsoft is behind it all.


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger jel

Hey David, will sneek you some chocolate in , when Rulan not looking , ota :)


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Be sure to hide it in coffee grounds. Rulan can smell chocolate a mile away.


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger jel

Thanks I will do that! :)


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger Stranger in a Strange Land

BTW, what form do you get your chocolate fix in?


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

jel - Cool... & shhhh... she has long pointy ears that hear everything.

Stranger - I like mine dark and silky, like a woman's heart.


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger Katie Hart

It took me a while to learn to type with only the one space. Still, I don't worry to much about it. To make sure I've caught all the doubles, I use the find-and-replace feature on Word. Type two spaces in the "find" box, one in "replace", and the computer does the work for you.


At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Katie, this proves it.

You are WAY smarter than me.

I need chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.


At Friday, May 19, 2006, Blogger clew

Are you KIDDING me? My boss reconditioned me to use 2 spaces between sentences a few years ago, insisting that was a standard.

I don't know WHAT to do now!

(I've seen you around several blogs I visit - just wanted to come over and say hi. HI! But now I'm all fretful about my double space-barring. Thanks a lot! ;D)


At Friday, May 19, 2006, Blogger clew

p.s. Your avatar is the GREATEST!


At Friday, May 19, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Clew, - Thanks for stopping by.

Yeah, that extra space thing is a tough one. You got to keep the boss happy.


At Saturday, May 20, 2006, Blogger M. C. Pearson

Oh bother. I refuse. Point blank. Well, maybe if an editor tells me to do it! The word 'sucks' is very appropriate for this fact. I'm in denial right now.


At Sunday, May 21, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant

Mimi, good news!

Katie Hart suggested going into “replace” and have it automatically replace all dbl spaces for single. I tried it and it works! The only bad news was that it messed with my headers and footers. But that was easily fixed.

I still need chocolate.


At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger Michel Archer

What!!! Last year I was told I needed to go through an entire novel I had written and insert an extra space! Because this person is younger, hip and aware of what's what, I thought...uh..duh...I better do it.
I'm about to finish another novel!!! Arrrgghh what to do!!!


At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant


I know what you mean. I even remember reading the rule in one of my writing books... But they were all written 25 years ago. So what’s a girl to do?

Katie H. says that you can add or remove a space with the find and replace feature. It seemed to work for me.

I hope that helps.