Almost five years ago on another blog I wrote about a massively important problem facing the communication profession:
after a period despite the fact that word-processing programs
automatically make more space after periods (and have done for more
than 20 years)?
Luckily, the "search and replace" function allows me to remove all
the extra spaces fairly quickly. But I'm terribly annoyed every time it
says, "Word has completed its search of the document and has made 157
I'm annoyed because I don't understand why professional writers
haven't been able to make this small adjustment in the quarter-century
since we stopped using typewriters.
Well I'm happy to report that my qualitative longitudinal study has yielded a more favorable dubious statistic. We're down to four out of 10 professional writers who are still kickin' it old-school, period, space space.
Aside from being potentially bogus, the hopeful statistic also fails to recognize that the remaining two-space cadets are a hardened and hopeless crew.
Witness the response of a communication director when her editor gently suggested that two spaces are one too many:
"Are you calling me old because I learned on a typewriter or just trying to torture me into changing a VERY OLD HABIT??? Yes—I can give it a try. I can keep you posted on how painful it is, too."
And yes, there were two spaces after the period after "try."
Boots readers, help a colleague become less spacey. Tell us how you've made this change. (Or on what basis you flat-out refuse!)