Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fingers in my ears (alternatively titled La la la la la la!!)

There are many things wrong with my writing.  I have no clue about sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and more.  But there is one thing I didn't realize was a dead give away that I am just freaking OLD.  We receive emails at work sometimes aimed at improving our communication skills, verbal as well as written.  Little venomous snippets of rules I never knew (or cared) existed.  Who gets to decide this stuff anyway??? 

Space between Sentences

One space, not two, follows any mark of punctuation that ends a sentence, whether a period, a colon, a question mark, and exclamation point, or closing quotation marks.

Editor’s note: Entering two spaces after terminal punctuation is an out-dated standard, used (and taught by) people who typed on typewriters. Typewriters did not have the ability to use proportional fonts, such as Arial, Times New Roman, and most other computer fonts. They used Courier, which is not proportional, meaning that all of the letters are the same width. Inserting two spaces after a sentence written in a proportional font produces a large gap in the flow of the text, making it harder to read smoothly. Pick up any professionally published magazine or book and you will never see two spaces. Two spaces make your writing look amateurish. Don’t do it. [OK, I’m off my soapbox now…]
Source: Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, Space between sentences (section 6.11)

The one thing I thought I was doing right, if you notice my paragraph at the top .. 2 spaces after the punctuation at the end of each sentence.  SO?!!??  Who IS this Chicago Manual of Style anyway?  Obviously someone who wants to separate the seasoned and experienced from the fresh and hip.  Or something like that.

Excuse me, I'm going to go not care now. 


Anonymous said...

Really, some people have way to much time on their hands to worry about if you put two spaces after a sentence. Which I do by the way. That is how I was taught it should be done. Technology may have changed but it doesn't mean we all should have to bend to its will.

BetteJo said...

I SO agree! Besides, I have tried since I read that and I think it's impossible. Apparently it's a deeply ingrained habit.