I sometimes find myself angsting about minutiae. Today, it is the humble space bar. How many times do I strike it between sentences?
I’m not old enough to have ever used a typewriter, except for that period in high school when I convinced my mom that a typewriter would help get my creative writing juices flowing better than the computer. She lovingly found a beautiful electric typewriter for me at a garage sale, cleaned it, and presented it to me. Initially, I was ecstatic. Now I could be a real writer!
Then the realities of actually working with a typewriter set in. I hadn’t realized before how much computers actually did for me. Simple things like line spacing became a nightmare. I am thankful for my electronic helpers these days.
Still, when and why did I begin putting two spaces between sentences? It is a deeply ingrained habit, one that I didn’t think much of until recently when I started seeing some posts from friends on facebook about the issue. I began to worry. Does my double-space make me less cool? I became convinced that people were reading my work and mocking the spacing. I could practically hear the whispers and giggles!
I tried to break the habit, but that only made things worse. Some sentences got a single space while others received the double space. What to do, what to do? Would anyone take my writing seriously with the grotesque double-space leering up at them?
In the end, I am still unsure of how to approach the ends of my sentences. Habit and muscle memory dictates the double space. Yet correct grammar informs me that a single space is the only correct ending to a sentence. Perhaps the most important thing is consistency. Double or single, I should probably pick one and roll with it.
So how about you? Do you double- or single-space?