The spaces between old school and new school

A few years ago I was scrolling Facebook, because that’s the thing we do now when we’re just sitting at work not actually working, and I ran across an article about the number of spaces after a sentence.  It was one of those articles that basically said if you put two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence, you are old school and “just stop already!”

I don’t know about you, but I learned that there were two spaces at the end of a period and I spent my entire life living by that rule.  I’m a rule person.  If there’s a rule, I generally tend to follow it.  So when I read this article, I was interested.  Could I stop doing it?  Was it truly necessary?

I might be that person who follows rules, but I don’t follow them blindly.  I want to know why and if there’s a better way or if the rule no longer applies, I will change.

I looked into the spaces and found that no one really agrees.  There are different ideas on both sides and you have some people who say it’s “a thing” and it should be done no matter what.  But then there’s the other side who say it doesn’t really matter.

Since it was so ambiguous, I went with the old school versus new school thing and decided I did not want to appear “old” by any means, so I stopped doing it.  Do you realize how hard it is to change something like typing two spaces at the end of a sentence?  It’s difficult!

But after a few months, I managed to change and I could say I was a one-spacer new school genius!… or something like that.

Then I started my current job.  I basically manage accounts with millions of dollars and I communicate with high level executives.  The first few months I had to send all my emails to the VP to review and approve.  One of the things she chided me on was the two space thing.  Seriously?  I even looked it all up again and really wanted to tell her it wasn’t “a thing”, but I really like my job, so I bit my tongue and tried to do two spaces at work and one at home.  That, my friends, was an abysmal failure.

I finally decided that work was more important than my ego (or whatever reason I decided to take up one-spacing) and I went back to two.  Honestly, it was like riding a bike.  You never really forget how.  It was a lot easier to start doing it again than it was to stop doing it, I can tell you.

What about you, all of my WordPress friends?  Which school are you in and why or why not?  I’m really interested to hear from the writers of the world… or at least the writers in my small sphere of the world.


19 thoughts on “The spaces between old school and new school

  1. I grew up using only one space after a period. It was actually on WordPress, a while ago, someone posted on the topic of two spaces after a period that I realised some actually put two spaces after a period. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I must be seriously old school. I took typing at school and learned on an old manual, and I really mean old, grey, and with ribbons that needed changing, typewriter. When we progressed from first to second year typing, we had new machines: they were white and clean-looking, but they still were seriously manual and used ribbons. So I learned two spaces. Not just after a period, but after a semicolon. I’ve been typing for damn (sorry – not 😉 near forty years. That’s a hard habit to break.

    I’m self-employed: my boss is “with” me

    Clients haven’t complained.

    Spell and grammar checks don’t like me.

    See if I care! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a typewriter at home growing up but I learned mostly on a computer. I still remember the rule though. Lol. I’m inclined to think it honestly doesn’t matter, unless of course it does to a boss or teacher or something. And yes, it’s a hard habit to break. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you, it doesn’t matter. I typed up my final year geography research project (a copy of which I still have, somewhere) on my mother’s portable typewriter. I was 21 at the time. The typewriter must have been at least 10 years older….and had travelled from England to Uganda, back to England and then to South Africa. I wonder what happened to it….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Two spaces after a period is a visual cue. It helps when reading aloud. A period is a full stop. A comma is a slight pause. I see no reason to acquiesce to those who want to change for the sake of change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not opposed to change, I just think it’s slightly ridiculous that this whole topic is even a thing. Lol. I can see both sides, but I would honestly only do one if it didn’t matter so much in my job. I just realized I can’t do both. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I am old enough that it really does not matter to me. When I write a letter I only use one space so it is not so long. Sure glad I am not in the work place anymore. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always used two spaces till I went back to school and was chided by my professors. I learned very quickly to go to the one space and have done it ever since. Now two seems to be just a way to make a paper seem longer.

    Liked by 1 person

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