Creativity, Physical Fitness, Mental Health and Growing Older

Period. space, space.

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Dear Reader:

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…well, unbridled enthusiasm is nice! But seriously, how can I improve if I don’t know where I 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 thought, is kinda like riding a bike…you master the skill and you never 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! I can type faster than I can think.

When readers began pointing out my “spaciness,” 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. An extra space between sentences was needed to delineate the beginning of a new sentence because the spacing between words was uneven on a typewriter.

Computers use proportionally spaced fonts, which adjust spacing to the size of the letter. There is no need for two spaces between sentences as the print is readable with only a single space.

It’s a simple as that! I’m old. I was taught to double-space. Turns out typing is not just like riding a bike. I’ll need to focus and proof-read or I may drive my daughter crazy!

Michele