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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Between Sentences

The New York Public School System (specifically Traver Road Elementary School) never taught me to double-space between sentences. But then we moved to North Carolina and my parents put me in Catholic School and they had me doing all these insane things that I had never done before like diagramming sentences, some shit called “Wordly Wise” (If it’s so wise with the words, how come it doesn’t know that “wordly” isn’t actually a word?), and DOUBLE-SPACING BETWEEN SENTENCES.

(Also, there was even a girl in my class that INSISTED I use the mouse to highlight and delete my misspelled word rather than backspacing. It still annoys me to this day and when ever I realize, two words later, that I misspelled a word, I think about Jennifer Hendy. (I don’t mind calling her out on my blog because I ran into her in the GAP a couple years after 8th grade and she called me Tiffany. She has no idea who I am.) It takes me more time to take my hands off the keyboard, grab the mouse, highlight (highlighting is a bitch – especially with those 1994 roller ball mouses/mice…that’s a debate for another post), put my hands back on the keyboard to delete and retype the word and then grab the mouse again to get back to the spot I was when I realized, “crap. I misspelled ‘orange’…AGAIN!” Jennifer Hendy was also quite the little tattletale about the double-spacing. Hrmph.)

Anyway – back to the point at hand – the double-spacing thing. I went to college and nobody there told me to stop double-spacing between sentences either – but believe me – I thought about it a lot. Remember? Every time I deleted a word to correct another word, I thought of Jennifer Hendy…and then also thought about the weird double-spacing thing.

After college I was working at an ad agency and I noticed that all the designers’ copy looked so pretty. What was it about their copy that looked so much better than my copy (aside from the fancy Mac typeface)? AH-HA! There were no double spaces between the sentences!!! I immediately marched myself down to the other end of the hall and inquired. “Blech! NO! We certainly DO NOT double-space between sentences!” It was said with all the disdain of someone who had just been spat upon. I freaking knew those nuns were wrong!

I started to investigate a little further. People started double-spacing between sentences because of TYPEWRITERS! Early typewriters were set with monospaced font – meaning that all letters took up the same amount of space. An “i" took up the same horizontal space as a “w.” This meant that some words looked kind of spaced out and it may or may not have made it a little more difficult to tell when one sentence ended and the next started.

By the 1950’s they had totally fixed this. Totally. They did it by using proportional typeface and…wait for it…computers! Ooooo! Aaaaah!

I’m just sayin’ – if you are still double-spacing between sentences, then you need to cancel your Twitter and Facebook accounts and let me know how your new job is going over at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

(Take that Jennifer Hendy!)


  1. Thank heavens that I did not double space between sentences when I wrote the directions for the Chocolate Fire Cake on Facebook. Don't think I did not go back and check though.

  2. Hey Ginger,

    Cool.....I never knew how you felt about this

    but I must say this is an interesting and detailed

    blog about some issues that I never

    realized were taught to you in Catholic

    school. Damn. I paid good money

    for such an education...oh well......

    Mom xoxox

  3. Sorry, kiddo. I double space (must be an NC education thing because that’s how I was taught, too). I’ll grant you that AP Style agrees with you – but I refuse to change. That’s the kind of rebel I am.

  4. Dearest Megan,

    The funniest thing happened at work today. I got an IM from my good friend, Jonathan. He copy and pasted your comment and said, "but yet she didn't double-space between sentences in her comment. I almost pointed it out, but decided not to piss people off who don't know me."

    I assured him that he could post that. Since he hasn't, I figured I should at least mention it.


  5. Ha – that’s really funny because I specifically checked my response to ensure I’d double-spaced after the periods. I swear the computer changed it! Damn new-fangled gizmos; I don’t trust ‘em.

    Tell Jonathan that his mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.*

    *I am less fearful of fighting with strangers (or of using odd history-geek allusions).


    Hurmph. Honestly, Ging - I look crazy enough without this kind of help. *emoticon wink* (that's right: I did it)

  7. Well, it seems that Blogspot knows double spaces are unnecessary and automatically deletes them. Ha!

  8. I'm way behind the times, but couldn't resist commenting. I think I remember who you're talking about, & it totally does not surprise me.

    Oh the things we learned in a few months at OLM.

  9. Right, Nicole?? That was a different experience! And aren't you so glad you don't have to wear those ridiculous skirts anymore? Haha.