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TDDracken

The Double Space Is Dead? Why?! D:

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When I was taught how to type it was emphasized that sentences were always separated by two spaces.  I've always found that it makes it easier to pick out at a glance where a sentence starts and makes it easier for me to find my place in books again.

 

So, why is it that the double space is now apparently dead?  I happen to like it and it comes as second nature to me.

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That was for the typewriter. Because the letters were closer together than a computer puts them. No one accepts double spaces. You can use your find and replace to fix it. :)

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It's not just the double spaces that "somebody" has changed. Punctuation ain't what it used to be, either. So far ... they seem to have left spelling alone, although that is one thing I would not object to improving. (although=altho?)

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I'm with you TDDacken!  My thumb twitches and I get two spaces.  I'm too old to teach my thumb not to twitch and I am grateful for Lynn's suggestion and the ability of the computer to conform to its own rules.

It has to do with publishing books in print more than the letters being close together.  We have to count each character (including spaces) when we give a word count for our manuscripts.  Do a little math.  100 sentences, 100 extra characters.  That's much unused paper and much money that publishers don't have, and authors would prefer in their pockets.  

Now, that said, there is this little matter of the white line between paragraphs.  If we need THAT much space to ease our eyes, why do we not need that little tiny space between sentences?  I'm with you TDDacken!  I need that little space to ease my eyes into seeing the sentences delineated.  

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I learned to type this way, and they still teach it in most schools.  I'll erase them when the time comes to print because as you said, it costs money.  In the meantime, if you don't like it, don't look.  ;)

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All of my Style Guides have changed and do not allow double spaces. As a Technical Writer, I had to teach myself not to do the ole' double-blam at the end of every sentence. Once I got used to single space, my writing sped up. There is a rather reckless, freeing feeling of careening along without the double-space but I admit it took me a little while to get used to.

But Lynn is right - the internet and the publishing industry have ruled and the double-space is no longer allowed. 

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10 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Yes, the style is dead.!

Whhhyyyy!!!  😪  My fingers may never learn.  

 

By the way good to see you briefly stopped by.  We've been praying for you.  

Edited by Alley
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I think the double space went out with the advent of the modern word processor, and particularity how fonts are rendered (proportional vs. non-proportional). Typewriters exclusively used non-proportional (fixed width) fonts, whose letters and characters each occupy the same amount of horizontal space. A double space at the end of a sentence was always standard practice, but became unnecessary with the newer word processors.

 

At least that's what I was told. Not sure if that was the real reason.

 

I actually double spaced an early draft of my first novel on MS Word. It took me a while to find an effective find/replace formula to correct it without having to manually go through nearly 400 pages. 😩  I learned pretty quickly after that to SINGLE SPACE.     

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19 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

to manually go through nearly 400 pages. 😩

I am so sorry.  o_O

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On 8/23/2018 at 6:59 PM, Accord64 said:

I actually double spaced an early draft of my first novel on MS Word. It took me a while to find an effective find/replace formula to correct it without having to manually go through nearly 400 pages.

 

In the Find field, press Space twice. In the Replace field, press Space once. Replace All.

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11 hours ago, Phy said:

In the Find field, press Space twice. In the Replace field, press Space once. Replace All.

 

I wish (and thought) it was that simple, but I had switched over to OpenOffice. A special find & replace sequence was needed:

 

Search for: [:space:]+
Replace with: space
Options: Regular expressions: YES

 

And don't get me started on removing tabs. 😩

 

Needless to say, I learned some early lessons the hard way. No double spaces and never use tabs in an eBook document.  

Edited by Accord64

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11 minutes ago, Alley said:

Wait, why?

 

Specifically, in eBook Word manuscripts you shouldn't use tabs to indent the first line in a paragraph. This is another typewriter habit that I had to break. Tabs mess up eBook conversions. Instead, you need to indent by setting a paragraph style. I actually found that to be easier to deal with as Word (or OpenOffice) will automatically indent. No need to remember hitting the tab button.

 

I always refer to the Smashwords Style Guide for formatting Word documents for easy eBook conversions. It's free.

 

 

 

 

   

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This is why professional writers use Styles. If you use a global Style with specific settings for indentation and spacing instead of using Tabs and manual line breaks and the publisher wants something different, it's as easy as updating the global style to quickly change the entire manuscript at once. If you use tabs and manual line breaks (and two spaces at the end of sentences), it can be a real pain to quickly change the way your document looks.

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Styles and find and replace are your best friend when formatting your manuscript!!!  One click and everything is beautifully formatted! Sigh,...I learned the ol' do-not-use-tabs-EVER the hard way,... 

 

There is no other convenience like a computer for speed and accuracy, but,...I confess I miss writing on a typewriter,...there is something very satisfying about the click of the keys, the tug of the return carriage, and of course the muffled 'ding' - at the end of every line! 😀

 

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5 hours ago, Katherine Johnston said:

There is no other convenience like a computer for speed and accuracy, but,...I confess I miss writing on a typewriter,...there is something very satisfying about the click of the keys, the tug of the return carriage, and of course the muffled 'ding' - at the end of every line! 😀

I confess I'm bad at spelling.  For me, the typewriter was a mini torcher test.  I hear there used to be a way to white out wrong letters, but we never had that.  You had to get it right the first time or redo the whole paper.  For me the typewriter experience was horrible, and I was happy to move to a computer with a delete button.  

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