This is, at once, an explanation for my errors and a defense of my sanity. Since I launched fromthepinkshed.com, I’ve received comments, criticisms and suggestions from those nearest and dearest to me. There is nothing I like more than constructive criticism, unless, of course, unbridled enthusiasm is the alternative. How is it possible to make it better if I don’t know where it went wrong?
Here is a partial list of the mistakes I’ve made as illuminated via lengthy text messages from friends and family:
- You haven’t been alive for a “century”…insert “half.”
- There is an extra space between the first sentence and the second sentence.
- The “Bachelor’s” name was Nick, not Chris.
- There is an extra space between every sentence in paragraph 2.
- Um, your link doesn’t link.
- There’s an extra space after, LITERALLY, every sentence in your post, Mother!
What’s with all the extra spaces? Period. space space. Period. space space. Typing, I think, is kinda like riding a bike…you are not supposed to forget how to do it. I learned how to touch type back in 1976 when I was in high school; I topped out at a swift 80 wpm! Fast…I was fast. I’m still pretty fast! When readers began pointing out my “spaciness,” I began to type more slowly and edit. But, really, I was bothered. Are the extra spaces the first indication that I’m at the top of the hill and will start rolling down very soon.
NO, definitely not. The answer came from my daughter, as so many other good things do! She called one day to say that after a class in typography as part of her Graphic Communication major, she had the answer to the riddle.
Here’s the explanation. Typewriters, it turns out, are very democratic machines. Every character is given the exact same amount of space on the page. That means that the letter ” i” is given the same amount of space as the letter “w,” even though it clearly doesn’t need it. This is called monospaced typesetting and we need that extra space between sentences to make it easier to see the beginning of new sentences. Word processors and computers and everything that is not an old typewriter use proportionally spaced fonts, which adjust spacing to the size of the letter. This is why a proportional font can fit 12 letters into the same space where a monospace font can only fit nine.
So, I’m not crazy; I’m old. Fine. I can live with that.