Two Heads Are Better Than One

Listen to Fandango shouting, “I am! I am! I am! I am a peeve blogger.”  Microsoft Word can be configured to automatically alert you if you don’t use two spaces after each period, by requiring the grammar checker to flag any end-of-sentence spacing that doesn’t match the criteria that you set.  I like to use two spaces after the end of every sentence when I write, but others feel and have told me that this represents poor form.  Everybody that learned to type on a typewriter was taught to use two spaces at the end of every sentence, but due to the enhanced fonts that are around today, most publications recommend using just one.

APA (American Psychological Association) Style which is a writing style and format for academic documents such as scholarly journal articles and books, commonly used for citing sources within the field of behavioral and social sciences, still recommends using two spaces after every sentence.  I came from a technical writing background and I feel that two spaces after every sentence just looks better.  I do this for the benefit of my readers, so this is a personal preference, not a matter of what is right or what is wrong.  I read a lot of blogs everyday and it does not bother me if people have grammatical mistakes in their writing, but then again, I try not to let many things bother me.

Fandango’s Provocative Question is a matter of psychophysics, which is the branch of psychology that deals with the relationships between physical stimuli and mental phenomena.  Today Fandango asks. “If people find typos or grammatical, punctuation, spelling, or usage errors in your posts, do you welcome having them pointed out to you, or do you resent it.  As a blogger do you let people know about such mistakes or do you just let them go?”

Space is a good thing and I feel that it does not take up any extra time for my readers to glance over that extra space which I always include, but if I were to write all my words without any space between any of them (allmywordswithoutanyspacebetweenanyofthem) that would make it much more difficult for my readers to decipher what I am saying.  I think that the increased space which I use, actually facilitates my readers ability to process my thoughts and thus it helps people understand the meaning of what I am saying.  Entire economies are made or broken, wars can be won or lost when ideas are miscommunicated.  Some people might find my use of two spaces after a period unsettling, and decide not to read any more of my blogs, well good riddance to them.

If someone finds that I have made a mistake in one of my posts, I would be grateful and thank them for pointing it out to me.  Two heads are always better than one and if somebody made me aware of an error, I would feel indebted to them for being such a good proofreader.  Everybody makes mistakes as we are all human and you never know what is going to set a certain person off and make them become a raging lunatic, but if they go completely mad because I used a coma instead of a semicolon, then they should learn how to get a life.  If I feel that I have developed a relationship with a blogger who has made a typo, I will tell them, not to embarrass them, but in the hope that they would also return the favor.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #51 about typos.

20 thoughts on “Two Heads Are Better Than One

  1. We use two spaces in legal documents and correspondence, but I use one in emails and personal writing. Either is fine with me. I can’t see going into a coma over a comma, unless you’ve misread a doctor’s written instructions, which could happen. I don’t tell people when I see mistakes in their posts because I never know when they might get annoyed about that, although I may make a joke. I do appreciate being told about my errors however.

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    1. People have to learn to lighten up as blogging is not the most important thing in the world and I only do it for fun. I feel that I know you well enough to point out any obvious mistakes that I might see in your (POASTS), just a joke and I would be glad if you did the same for me.

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  2. on the note of two spaces, it’ll depend for me where I’m writing. if it’s a manuscript, i actually go to the ‘find and replace’ box, and put in two spaces on the find field , one on the replace field then I click on replace all. In the writing fiction end, two spaces is a typo. If I have mistakes hard to ignore or that a reader found annoying in one of my books, I’d appreciate the heads up – so I could fix it. Now, as for my blog, i wouldn’t mind anyone pointing out my mistake, but I might not go back and edit the post again. My blog is a place where I like to interact and connect with others, not an official page where I post things to impress others. And on a side note, I learned to type on a typewriter- all ten fingers -when I was on 5th grade.

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  3. I wrote my thesis acording to the APA style, years ago (!) but never heard of the double spacing after a period. I like it though. It never occured to me that you did that but I feel like your posts are easy to read maybe partly because of that.
    I make a lot of spelling mistakes myself and I don’t point them out to others. It doesn’t bother me at all. If someone notices errors in my post, it wouldn’t bother me if they would point them out but maybe not all of them must there be so many 🙂

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  4. When I learned to type, I was taught to put in two spaces after a period. But that was because a typewriter was capable of only monospaced fonts (mostly courier), where an “i” and a “w” take up the same amount of space on the page. But with the availability of proportional fonts via computers.

    You may remember back in August 2017, I wrote this post (https://fivedotoh.com/2017/08/03/one-space-or-two/) in response to a post you wrote where you talked about your penchant for two spaces after a period. In my post, I wrote, “ If you wish to continue to practice the archaic “two-space rule” in your posts, well hey, it’s your blog and you can do as you please. I won’t think any less of you.” And I still feel that way more than two years later. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I enjoy your writing, despite the unnecessary extra space you insist on inserting after each period. But if you start inserting apostrophes to make a word plural or use “your” instead of “you’re” or “to” instead of “too,” then all bets are off! 😉

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    1. Yes of course I remember your post and I think that you should write more posts that are dedicated to correcting me and my unorthodox ways. Please feel free to correct anything on my blog weather it is content or grammar related. It may be an archaic method, but from what I read today on the net, it is making a comeback. Thanks for the provocative question today and you are also one of my favorite bloggers. Hugs!

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  5. I use 2 spaces as that’s what I’ve been taught to use. I don’t care what anyone else uses as long as I can read it and understand it. Typos don’t stop me from reading another person. If I make a typo, please correct me, ok? One pet peeve I have about punctuation is the placement of an end punctuation when using parenthesis. APA teaches to put it inside of the parenthesis but so many times I see it outside of the parenthesis.

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  6. I like **anything** that makes a post easier to read. I like two spaces between sentences but don’t always do it myself out of laziness and the simple text editing online won’t put them in automatically. I like one and a half spaces between lines – but online I never get it. (Double space is overkill unless it is printed and I want to write in notes.)

    Paragraphs should contain only a few sentences, and be separated by an extra line. If you have more than 4-6 sentences per paragraph (more is ok if sentences are short) I’ll read the first sentence and skim the rest. Massive blocks of type massively turn me off.

    I really miss the passing of the paragraph indent. 😦

    Quotation marks combined with other punctuation is my “bete noir.” English and American styles are different and no matter how I do it I end up feeling I did it wrong. Oftentimes my spelling/grammar checker makes absurd punctuation recommendations.

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