Double Spaces from Beyond the Century

Subtitle: Pointless Crusade #138.

So I love the work of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, and I read her blog regularly, but I am mildly annoyed at her at the moment. Someone called her on her use of double spaces at the end of sentences and rather than either changing the habit or politely keeping the email to herself, she had to POINT IT OUT on her blog and then REFUSE TO CHANGE. And now I can’t see anything but the double spaces.

*Bangs head on keyboard*

If you are not and never have been either a copyeditor or a graphic design person, you probably wouldn’t notice. It’s a subtle thing, and on websites, I often think assume I’m seeing things, because websites sometimes do weird things with fonts. I’ve experienced font weirdness on my own blog, so I try to be forgiving of others. But once you start seeing it, and once you know that the underlying cause is completely fixable, it’s like having a mosquito whining close enough to drive you insane, but just out of smacking range.

I can’t persuade the Bloggess to change her ways, I’m sure, and I get it. If you’re old and/or learned to type on old technology or with the instruction of old people who learned to type on old technology, the habit of hitting space twice after a period is probably darn hard to break. But does that mean you have to trigger twitching in every copyeditor/typographer who has the misfortune to notice your antiquated habit? No, no it does not.

Why? Because the spacing is insanely easy to fix.

If you’re working in any kind of word processor that has a find/replace function, all you do is place your cursor in the “Find” box, hit space twice, move your cursor down to the “Replace” box and hit the space bar once. Hit “Replace All” and the processor will magically get rid of all those spaces. It literally takes three seconds.

Unless you’re working directly in a content management system. On a related note: someone should get to work on adding a find/replace function to the general WordPress WYSIWYG editor, because that would make my life much more efficient.

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