Typewriter rule bites the dust
I was searching for a punctuation rule about commas, when I came across an interesting paragraph.
Spacing at End of Sentence
Use a single space at the end of a sentence and after a colon. Double spaces date back to the days of typewriters, when all characters were allotted the same amount of space. Computerized typesetting adjusts the spacing for a good fit. Extra spaces create gaps and look unprofessional.
Source: Punctuation Primer
I had never read this rule in print before. I did read a discussion about single-spacing after a paragraph, on Sarabeth's blog a while back. It seemed to me that the younger commenters were single-spacing, and the older ones were still double-spacing. It was evidence of the difference between keyboarding (taught nowadays) and typing (taught before the Computer Age).
Miss Tibbitts, the stern typewriting teacher of my high school days, is surely feeling some un-rest, whether she is still in this world or has gone on to the next. A single space at sentence-end was always an error in her classroom of big, manual, office typewriters.
In Blogger Draft, I notice that a double space is converted into a single space plus a space-holder symbol that creates the second space. It assumes that, if you double-space, you really want two spaces. (I think previous Bloggers automatically converted double spaces to single spaces.) To be honest, the double space does look like an unprofessional gap, just as the Punctuation Primer says (quoted above).
I can't express how hard it is to abandon the double space habit. I type without much conscious thought about the process. Typed words flow from my fingers like spoken words from my mouth. My right thumb is extremely well-trained after 40 years of typing. It goes "thump thump" automatically after every period.
Even in this post about the rule of single-spacing, I double-spaced after most of the periods. I had to remove the Blogger-inserted extra space-holders manually. If I do that often enough, maybe that will teach me.