These mornings starting at 4:45 a.m. are becoming very familiar. I don’t mind them since they’re a direct byproduct of this very annoying habit of falling asleep at 9 p.m.

As I’m sitting here working, I keep referencing the CSPA Stylebook for things like “5 a.m.” and “I before E, but neither leisured foreign sovereign seized the heifer on the weird heights”. Digression at its finest, my question is do we put one or two spaces after a sentence? After a bit of research, here is a very simplified explanation: I am going to continue to use one space because typographists have preplanned the width of the whitespace to accomodate the period. Unless you are using a typewriter or the monospaced or fixed-width fonts like Courier, I’d put two. Is it really worth it to put two spaces to improve readiability despite designers’ efforts to make a good type font with preplanned kearning already? Using two spaces is an extra wasted keystroke where a single space serves its function nicely. Double spaces are typically removed for typesetting prior to print publication and who needs more white space anyway? There is no reason that sentence-ending punctuation should follow any different rules from clause-ending punctuation. Capitalization of the first letter neatly signals the end of one structure and the next, so no other typography is needed. Finally, on the World Wide Web, double spaces get truncated into a single space unless you put a non-breaking space ” “; however, some browsers even join those concurrent spaces into a single space! Looks like I am going to take a Typography class..

I suppose while I’m republishing this post about conventions and stylistics, I may as well add my peeve about the serial comma. Take the sentence: I like Millie, Betty and Madison. There are three articles and a comma separating Millie and Betty. You could also write: I like Millie, Betty, and Madison. But that seems so redundant to me–if you were to write Betty and Madison, two articles, would you use a comma separating the two? No, it’s unnecessary! Not to mention, it’s outdated. Although, I suppose when using appositives that it’s important for ambiguity’s sake to include that comma. Anyway, I will follow the New York Times and the Associated Press’ stylesheet.

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Comments ( 1 Comment )

hahahahaha i love this post..

steph added these pithy words on Dec 18 06 at 8:25 pm

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