Proof that people will argue about anything

If you’re of a certain age and academic, this will be familiar to you…


If you’re not of that age or didn’t take Typewriting in High School, you probably don’t recognize that this was the warm up drill before class. It was designed to limber up the fingers and reintroduce them to the Home Row.

Those that know this may have been involved in an ongoing social media argument about a key element of those early classes on typewriters.

It was the double-space after a period. Without it, you were wrong and in a timed writing, would have to circle it and make a deduction to your speed. With all the dumb things that you could do wrong when typing, this would be the dumbest. It was so quick to do.

If you took those classes, take a look at your how row and your space bar. They’re probably the shiniest of the keys on your computer because you were taught to anchor your fingers there. And, the space bar, when tapped at the end of the sentence would take a beating!

I’m one of those people and probably always will be.

People who didn’t take Typewriting (or later on, Keyboarding) probably never experienced the fear of making a mistake and having to subtract points for each mistake. Is there any other subject is school that is so brutal?

These days, formal keyboarding is only taught in a rare instance by those who know the value of getting it right – in terms of speed and accuracy. For others, they’re comfortable with whatever speed they’re able to generate with their own skill development.

Today’s keyboarders don’t know the joy of watching the keys come up to strike a ribbon to leave an impression on a piece of paper. They don’t know the effort to have the travel of the key go from finger tip to paper. Now, it’s a short travel as digital keys to make a connection or just tapping on a piece of glass and the magic happen.

When you get both camps together to discuss the formal double space after a period, it can be brutal (or just fun). Those that never studied formally have never been exposed to the concept. Some recognize that the world has changed and have moved to a single space. Others like me continue to double space. It’s actually a skill that translates nicely to a phone or tablet when a double space puts in a period, a space, and automatically capitalizes the next letter since it probably will start a new sentence.

When I publish this post, WordPress will post it without the double spaces so it might appear that I’ve changed. I haven’t; you’ve got to love software.

7 thoughts on “Proof that people will argue about anything

  1. While I don’t double space after a period, I was taught to do so. It just didn’t catch, I guess. 🙂 I never realized though that WordPress publishes without them. It almost makes me want to give this a try, just to see. Thanks for teaching me something new, and even pre-coffee. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t master touch typing until I was responsible for supporting the ALMENA keyboarding program at the grade four level in my school board – – my superintendent walked by my desk one day and I was suddenly conscious that I was using the Columbus Method taught to me by my dad (spot a key and land on it). I took about two weeks that summer living with a slower rate of output until I got up to speed with touch typing. The secret is break the habit of looking at the keys – – practising with a tea towel over your hands on the keyboard is a great strategy — until your muscle memory becomes fast enough to translate the brain knowledge into finger movement. After that, it’s just practice to improve your speed.

    At some point back in time (prior to my shift to touch typing) I learned that it was Proper form to double space after the period, so that wasn’t a concern.

    I do remember when the accepted form changed to single spacing as a cost saving measure in the print publication industry. All those tiny little extra spaces cumulatively took up area on the printed page that could be recovered and used for advertising and/or more compact cost-saving newspapers.

    I’m pretty sure I still double space after a period when I touch type – – honestly, I don’t think about it, and if WordPress strips out the extra space, I’ve never noticed it.

    With things like this I’m reminded of one of my favourite Spock quotes:

    “ A difference that makes no difference IS no difference.“


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