TO SPACE OR NOT TO SPACE
When I first started writing my blog on WordPress, I noticed a peculiar thing. As I typed my stories I would double space between sentences. When I previewed the story, I noticed a space had disappeared. Annoyed, I would go back into my edit mode and add the spaces back. After awhile, I would sometimes forget, and eventually gave up. I always wondered why this happened. Not enough to do a Google Search, but I wondered.
Two weeks ago, I was listening to a show on NPR called ‘The Dinner Party Download’. I don’t usually listen to NPR on a Saturday afternoon, so the show was new to me. I wasn’t sure I liked it, but then I was driving so maybe not paying 100% attention. It seemed too busy, with a bunch of people trying to be cool, maybe that was the idea… dinner party… people conversing. They did have an interesting story about the 100 anniversary of the Mona Lisa being returned to France, after an absence due to a brazen theft by Italian Vincenzo Peruggia, which is a cool story in itself. But the gist to this story was an interview with some Italian bartender who had invented a cocktail for the occasion, called the Mona Lisa. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it.
Into a tall glass, add:
1 part Alkermes, an Arabic-turned-Florentine liqueur from the de Medici era.
1 part orange juice
3 parts Champagne
As the show went on, they would sit around shooting the breeze between stories and I kind of half-listened, until I heard something about double spacing. I perked up, and one guy said that it depended how you learned to type. If you learned on a typewriter, you double spaced. If you learned on a computer, you single spaced. “If you double space on the internet (a funny way to put it I thought), it ate one of the spaces”, he said. So that’s what was happening! I was typing on the internet and my spaces were being gobbled up.
I wondered if that was true. I learned to type on a typewriter in junior high school… I think eighth grade, maybe ninth or seventh. Hey, that was 55 years ago. I do remember a classroom with a hell of a lot of typewriters and kids clacking away. It was hard at first, but I got the hang of it and am a pretty good typist to this day. My granddaughter Isabel types a lot faster than I do. I’m sure she learned on a computer, I’ll have to ask her if she double spaces, maybe that’s why she’s faster if she’s just single spacing.
A computer keyboard is easier on the fingers, I know that. My first typewriter looked just like the one in the picture above, the keys were hard to push, but I liked the feel. I remember when we got our first electric typewriter… that was something… and then we got one of those ball ones later on, that was fun to watch. I don’t remember the last time I used a typewriter. I’ll probably always double space, but I don’t think I’ll go back and add spaces on my blog now… I wouldn’t want to mess with the internet.
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I wonder how many of my writer friends double space. I wonder if any of my writer friends use a typewriter. Here is a link if you want to read some of my writer friend’s stories… yeah write weekly writing challenge See if there’s any double spacing.
Here’s the link to The Mona Lisa Returns to Italy story on at the Dinner Party Download, in case you are interested.