Single Space or Double Space



  • I was unaware that such a debate even existed: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html

    I still don't know what to think, though.



  • XKCD Single Space vs Double Spce





  • I am a double spacer myself.



  • I did research on this once, and learned the reason some people double-space, which is typically older people and almost never people my age, is because that was taught during the typewriter days. After the digital age became prevalent, single-spacing became standard but many people still think back to pre-computer composing. Source is a Wikipedia article I don't feel like taking the time to link.



  • Note: I researched that after an issue came up with the transcriptionists single-spacing and an older doctor, who was 50s or 60s, was upset it wasn't double-spaced. That's what made me look it up.



  • @ajstringham not sure if single spacing is standard today or if people just haven't learned how to type. If you use a monospace font, double spacing is still expected. Typographers claim that with variable width fonts, proper spacing is no longer needed. But since not all fonts are variable, doesn't that mean that double spacing still is required? The space between words and between sentences are not supposed to be the same whether hand written, typed or digital.

    Single spacing just seems sloppy, still.



  • @ajstringham It was still being taught in the mid-1990s for sure.

    Pretty sure it was being taught when I worked at a school in 2005.



  • Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.

    I've adopted the Oxford comma but only after kicking and screaming about it.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Single spacing just seems sloppy, still.

    Double spacing just seems weird.

    Apart from anything, consider the wasted time. You've written over 2.8 million words on your blog, right? Let's say an average of 10 words per sentence. That's 280k extra spaces you've typed. Let's say an average of 120 spaces per minute and that's almost 40 hours of your life that you've wasted. 40 hours hitting the space bar, for no reason at all.

    Life's too short!



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Single spacing just seems sloppy, still.

    Double spacing just seems weird.

    Apart from anything, consider the wasted time. You've written over 2.8 million words on your blog, right? Let's say an average of 10 words per sentence. That's 280k extra spaces you've typed. Let's say an average of 120 spaces per minute and that's almost 40 hours of your life that you've wasted. 40 hours hitting the space bar, for no reason at all.

    Life's too short!

    That's an excellent analysis.



  • @Carnival-Boy the price of elegance and accuracy is never small 🙂

    In reality it would take so much more time to untrain. It's purely automatic and effectively instantaneous. I learned to type at age five.



  • @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.

    I've adopted the Oxford comma but only after kicking and screaming about it.

    Why? Unless necessary, which it sometimes is, isn't it also considered sloppy?



  • Or perhaps redundant is a better term.



  • I was taught single space. I think older generations were taught double space.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.

    I've adopted the Oxford comma but only after kicking and screaming about it.

    Why? Unless necessary, which it sometimes is, isn't it also considered sloppy?

    It's not considered sloppy at all. The logic behind it makes sense. I fought it at first, but, if I want to be respected as a writer, I'll get criticized for not using it but won't if I do and someone considers it a little superfluous.



  • @thecreativeone91 said:

    I was taught single space. I think older generations were taught double space.

    Exactly. @scottalanmiller is just old.



  • Mrs nadnerB is a double spacer and I am a single spacer. She is not old 😛

    I have no idea what I was taught/shown during school as I didn't like the teacher and refused to type their way. Hence my hybrid home/point-n-prod method of typing.

    I hope my objections to double spacing are not out of stubbornness... blink.gif



  • Single Spacer here 🙂



  • @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.

    I've adopted the Oxford comma but only after kicking and screaming about it.

    Why? Unless necessary, which it sometimes is, isn't it also considered sloppy?

    It's not considered sloppy at all. The logic behind it makes sense. I fought it at first, but, if I want to be respected as a writer, I'll get criticized for not using it but won't if I do and someone considers it a little superfluous.

    You get criticized more for using than for not using it. Oxford comma is to be used at proper times, it is widely considered sloppy to use it just anytime.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @ajstringham said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Kids today and their French spacing and Oxford commas.

    I've adopted the Oxford comma but only after kicking and screaming about it.

    Why? Unless necessary, which it sometimes is, isn't it also considered sloppy?

    It's not considered sloppy at all. The logic behind it makes sense. I fought it at first, but, if I want to be respected as a writer, I'll get criticized for not using it but won't if I do and someone considers it a little superfluous.

    You get criticized more for using than for not using it. Oxford comma is to be used at proper times, it is widely considered sloppy to use it just anytime.

    Umm, would you care to attach a reference to that? That makes no sense.





  • Scott, in regards to your Oxford comma point, I counter with this:
    http://diply.com/trendyjoe/oxford-comma-why-everyone-should-use-it/47666



  • @ajstringham said:

    Scott, in regards to your Oxford comma point, I counter with this:
    http://diply.com/trendyjoe/oxford-comma-why-everyone-should-use-it/47666

    That guy doesn't understand how it is used and is the example of why you should not use it - because it makes you look like you don't understand grammar. Which is exactly what he didn't understand.

    Oxfords are not optional, like he thinks, they are necessary at certain times but not normally. They should be used when required (yes, there are times where they are required) and not at times when they are not. It's that simple.

    Any other use looks at best sloppy and at worst as if English isn't a first language.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @ajstringham said:

    Scott, in regards to your Oxford comma point, I counter with this:
    http://diply.com/trendyjoe/oxford-comma-why-everyone-should-use-it/47666

    That guy doesn't understand how it is used and is the example of why you should not use it - because it makes you look like you don't understand grammar. Which is exactly what he didn't understand.

    Oxfords are not optional, like he thinks, they are necessary at certain times but not normally. They should be used when required (yes, there are times where they are required) and not at times when they are not. It's that simple.

    Any other use looks at best sloppy and at worst as if English isn't a first language.

    I completely disagree. However, I can see there is no reasoning on this matter.



  • @ajstringham said:

    I completely disagree. However, I can see there is no reasoning on this matter.

    What is the logic FOR using the Oxford Comma? The article that you supplied is obviously incorrect, just read what he wrote. He doesn't understand how commas and "and" works and doesn't know the basics that he's discussing. So clearly that's not a viable reference.

    It is well known that there are times when an Oxford comma is necessary, in which case you must use it. And there are times when it is clearly redundant and it has long been accepted not to use it.

    Why do you feel that there is a positive use to a redundant comma? If you have a good reason, share it. If not, your article, I feel, proves my point. Looking like that guy makes you look either sloppy or confused - not things that you want your writing style to say about you.



  • Oxford (or serial) commas also follow the general styles for educated writing: Oxford comma highlights that you use American writing style (seen as uneducated in most of the world) and the non-Oxford traditional style aligns you with Britain and the Queen's English (seen as educated throughout most of the world.) For the same reasons that British spelling is beneficial when you want to stand out in a positive way, so is avoiding the Oxford comma.

    The reality is, both forms are necessary as there are cases where both are the only way to be clear when writing. There are many times when either will work. Neither can ever be an "always."



  • Dear pedants, is there such thing as an Oxford semi-colon?

    Is this sentence correct:
    Five resellers and implementation experts were invited to bid for both Sage and NAV. These were: Acora; Fraser Price Consulting; DMC Software Solutions; Paradise Computing and Probitas Enterprise Solutions

    or should I phrase it differently? I didn't want to use commas when listing company names, because company names sometimes include commas. Should there be a semi-colon after Paradise Computing?



  • @Carnival-Boy I see your logic, but I'm not clear if a semi-colon can be used that way. You've ventured into the territory of a rule that I am not familiar with. I think that a better option, but maybe not correct, is to put the company names into quotes, rather than changing commas to semi-colons.


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