WeekendCoffee Punctuation

coffeeshareIf we were having coffee today, I’d be in a tizzy about punctuation. Not just any punctuation, mind you, but specifically colons and periods.

I keep getting zinged by editors on my enormously bad habit of spacing twice after colons and periods. I am currently using great effort to force myself to space singly right now as I complete every sentence.

The habit dates me. I learned to type on a typewriter. It was a standard rule I was taught. TWO spaces after colons and periods. TWO. If not, you’d get that big ruler smacked across your knuckles. I told you, it was a long time ago.

Somewhere along the line, as word processors came into being, the rule changed to a single space. I believe very large numbers of us didn’t get the memo.

It is a habit that is almost as hard to quit as smoking. It’s automatic, especially when I am on a two-thousand-word writing spree.

How many of you still double space after colons and periods?


Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina. You can buy his books on Amazon. Handy links are available here: http://thefensk.com

His second novel, A CURSE THAT BITES DEEP is on sale through June 2 at Amazon, the ebook is only 99 cents.


8 thoughts on “WeekendCoffee Punctuation

  1. wow – I learned to type in multiple school typing classes in the late 60s and don’t recall that rule. Yet, I still manage to get into lots of trouble with other punctuation. I’m not sure, but am pretty sure that punctuation is actually part of the Genesis curse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Uhh I hear you! Although I was never a good home key typist, (I dropped the class when the instructor yelled at me. ) so my learning was on a keyboard. Somehow ,
    I double click after periods and colons. Luckily Find and Replace is a quick fix.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I missed that memo. I learned to type at school as well on a typewriter. Pretty sure the type writer gods will not be happy if the rule has been changed. Maybe there’s a conversion course somewhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never use two spaces after a colon, but always after a period. When editing for publication, towards the end I always do a search and replace to make all of my two-space-bars into one-space-bar. It messes some things up, but makes it more in line with today….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was still busy with a double spacing long after the rule changed and it truly was a hard habit to break. Stick with it and it will become fluid. You will soon find yourself shaking your head at those double spaces when yo edit other people’s work, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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