Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Modern Grammar Rules?

It was bad enough that my daughter had a "talk" with me about some unwritten rule about frequency of posting pictures with status on Facebook ... but then I found this in my Twitter feed (via @joerominiecki):

"Want to show everyone how freakin' old you are? Keep putting two spaces after periods when you type." Which then points to a Grammar Girl article.

Uh oh, no two spaces? Read the article and you can learn the difference between monospaced fonts on typewriters and proportional fonts on computers. With the latter leading to the "logical" use of one space after a period.

I've been typing (quickly, I might add) since 8th grade typing class. Not sure this can be unlearned.

Separately, the same article also differentiates when an animal is a "who" and not a "that." And agrees the beloved family pet gets to be a who, while you can consider anyone else's pet or random animal a that.


Sue Pelletier said...

This made me laugh--I remember having to unlearn typing two spaces after a period back when we first started using computers for magazine publishing. It can be done!

But I already dated myself with that "first started using computers" line, didn't I?

David M. Patt, CAE said...

I, too, learned to leave two spaces - and it makes it easier to read.

But, you gain additional space by only using one space. Also, many publications no longer indent the first paragraph, thus saving even more space for copy.

Jeff Hurt said...

Actually David, research shows one space after a period makes it easier to read and two spaces make it more difficult.

The two space discussion is one I have with a lot of Association Execs when I work with them. Many don’t want to believe that that rule has changed. Thankfully, we can unlearn things.

Part of my mantra is “what's right today could be wrong tomorrow, so be flexible and ready to change.”

Thanks Cindy for the post. Made me smile too!