I don’t know how many, if any, people have boycotted my blog because I put a double space at the end of a sentence. I took Typing in Grade 9 and Grade 10 and it was part of my teachable option at the Faculty of Education. I will confess that I struggled the first term in Grade 9 with Typing. Speed and accuracy are important. I had neither.
As luck would have it, at my Dad’s workplace late that fall, replaced all their manual typewriters with electric ones. Dad bought one that was being phased out and it became a Christmas gift. It was one of those old Underwood machines. It was very heavy and also became my first set of weights.
I practised and practised on that thing. I mean, it shouldn’t be that difficult to learn to type. Eventually, I made it! If memory serves me correctly, 30 words per minute was the goal in Grade 9 and a higher number in Grade 10. That, I can’t remember. What I do remember was practising by typing all my notes for a while. (except Mathematics and Science) I became very, very proficient.
The skill served me well when when I took programming courses although that opened a new set of skills. You see, in school we focused on letters and digits. Programming required all kinds of additional strokes like parentheses and brace brackets. I got pretty good at those as well.
Throughout all this, one thing remained from Mr. Renshaw’s Typing class – two spaces after a punctuation mark! I’ve seen the arguments and the discussion and how proportional fonts have changed everything. I see the logic but the people who are big and really fanatic are late learners. They didn’t take B&C in high school and are now learning. Good on them. It’s a skill that everyone should have however and whenever they get it.
I know that Grade 9 is now too late to learn to keyboard. (we don’t use the term “typing” anymore) I licensed a software package on behalf of my former school district and we put it in the hands of Grade 4 students. Like some great initiatives, it’s gone but I know that there are some good teachers who see the value of the skill and work it into things.
Anyway, this story hit my news reading and ruined my Sunday morning. Here are a couple….
- Microsoft Word now flags double spaces as errors, ending the great space debate
- Don’t Let Microsoft Word Judge You For Using Two Spaces Between Sentences
- MICROSOFT WORD NOW FLAGS TWO SPACES AFTER A PERIOD AS AN ERROR
I know that some people will take great delight in this news.
I’m not a user of Microsoft Word. Most of my writing is done in a browser and I use LibreOffice when I need a standalone app. But, we know that when someone introduces a “standard”, others will follow.
I’m not one that will change a lifelong learned and refined skill. It won’t be the first time that I ignore red squiggly lines in my work – typically caused by using an American dictionary which doesn’t like words like colour, etc. I also still believe that the world is round.
In my mind, there are far more important things in the world than worrying about things like this. I mean, holding your printed copy over top of a correct copy and up to the light to see if the letters line up isn’t much used any more!