Okay!  I’m “Old School” — actually, “Olde Skool,” and proud of it!  The other day, I was in the WordPress.com support forum trying to help someone who was having Quotation Marks trouble, and I offered this bit of well-worn advice:

In my experience on WordPress.com, the quotation marks get turned around if you’re an old-school typist like me where you insert two spaces after a period — or somesuch — instead of one space. Removing the extra space usually rights the wrong-facing quote mark, and I only see the mistake when the post is published, not in either edit view.

Yes, I was self-identifying as “Olde Skool” — but I didn’t expect to have my label confirmed by WordPress.com staff!  Ha!


Okay, then, sure — I believe in two spaces after a period is the only proper way to indicate a sentence stop, and I don’t care about kerning or type font faces — you double-space at the end of every sentence, period!  I am not alone in this typewritten agenda:

I learned in eighth grade typing class to double space after the period at the end of a sentence before beginning the next sentence. I’ve typed that way for the ensuing 46 years. The double-tap on the space bar is programmed into my muscle memory. Now I am told that the rules have changed, and that a sentence should be followed by a single space. The evidence that I never got the memo can be found in the past 1,078 posts here on my blog. Trying to compose this post with a single space is requiring all of my concentration, and frequent resort to the backspace key.

Next, I suppose, someone will decide that it’s perfectly okay to place the closing quotation mark on the inside of the period, rather than the outside.   That will be the final straw.

Don’t worry, Tom, I’m with you on the double-spacing, and there’s no way we will EVER put punctuation OUTSIDE a quotation mark.  EVER!  OVER OUR DEAD, EDITORIAL, HANDS!

When Adobe released Dreamweaver CS4 a long while ago, the HTML editor REFUSED to allow me to double-tap after a period.  The program would add a single space and ignore my double-space.  I still always double-space after a period in Dreamweaver and, I suppose, the best way to “fix” us Olde Skoolers, is to just ignore our input in the best interests of progressive human force and function.

WordPress.com, however, LOVES my double-spacing, and allows double spaces to publish — and for that reason, I love WordPress.com right back!  Sometimes, my WordPress.com article formatting looks a little funky, and I see that WordPress.com prefers a single space in that specific instance instead of a double — and so I will unwillingly edit the article to get the line break to break right, but that’s a WordPress.com formatting problem, not my problem!

Here are some other ways in which I continue to be Olde Skool — and if you know what’s good for you, you might want to join me:

  • I spell “Old School” — as — “Olde Skool.”
  • I write email — in Plain Text only.
  • I use — em-dashes — a lot!
  • I know what “ISDN” means — and how to join two separate lines into one.
  • I comment directly on an article — without passive-aggressively Tweeting instead.
  • I enjoy Daisy Wheel printers.
  • I used a Kaypro 2X for too many years.
  • I remember Sunday mail delivery!

What about you?  Do you have any Olde Skool habits that others try to tell you are out-of-date and no longer necessary?  Do you change your ways to get along — or do you stay with the truth of what you know?

19 Comments

  1. Guess I must be Olde Skool given your criteria.

    Got to love those dashes – from memory the article I first commented on was your article on dashes – I tend to favor …………………………………. dots !

    1. Em Dashes are a great typographical love of mine — because in the typewritten world they are so ugly — two dashes – – . In the online world of pretty things, those two dashes I type together get translated into one, long, elegant dash — and all is right with the visual world. Em Dashes create distance and perspective online. Offline, I would not use them because they are too crude looking to have the same effect.

  2. You are not the only one. I learned in elementary school and again in middle school that we’re supposed to have two spaces after each sentence. It’s stuck with me ever since, I have absolutely no idea how annoyed I would have been if I had to go from two spaces to one and even worse be corrected for it. I probably would have kept putting two spaces out of spite.

    1. Hi Brielle! You were well-trained! SMILE! Usually people of your age tend to not even know about the two spaces rule when it comes to adding a period at the end of a sentence. Two spaces was ground into us in Junior High School — eighth grade, I believe — where everyone was taught to type at the same, quick, speed and keep up with all the rules of a properly typewritten paper. The fonts don’t matter. The substance of the rules of creation endures.

      1. Here’s a weird one for you. When I came to college my freshman year, we actually had a quick conversation in my writing class about how many spaces should be at the end of a sentence. My teacher brought up the fact that some formats of writing might even call for three spaces after a sentence. would you happen to know why? I mean I assumed it might have been editing related but she really didn’t mention anything about it after that.

          1. Ha! Before I replied to you I did a Google search and didn’t find anything on three spaces — except a whole bunch of furious articles DEMANDING that we only use a single space instead of two after a period!

  3. 1)I prefer cassettes and vinyl over CDs and mp3s tho I by necessity listen to mp3s on the go.
    2)I buy plenty of ebooks but prefer paperbacks
    3)I make to do lists on paper despite having bought three to do list apps
    4)I miss my dot matrix because there was a satisfaction in ripping off the side ribbons and thinking, “another job well done!”

    1. Thanks for playing, Gordon! That is an excellent list!

      1. Can you still buy cassettes? How often do you re-record your cassette collection on cassette? How do you avoid diminishing the sound?

      2. I, too, love hard books — but as time and living take over, I find I can store a lot more books online than I can in my office!

      3. I tend to make paper lists, too. “Tasks” in Google Apps is the online remedy, but I can’t type as fast as I can scribble.

      4. Dot Matrix printers were certainly a burden, but in some ways they were great, because you “line up” the pins and then you were set to print a giant box of paper you had to tear into place after printing. Oh, the good olde bad dayes!

      1. Artists that I like still put out “cassingles” or single songs on cassette with a different song on the b side. I have enough variety in music that I rarely wear through them — and when they do expire, I continue to enjoy them in MP3 form — most come with a download code!

          1. It’s a Sony FM Stereo Walkman F1 — the first walkman that Sony made with a radio as well as a cassette player. It’s in need of a tune up, and I should probably buy a newer model — but when I was buying it at the time (off eBay) I wanted a piece of Walkman history.

  4. Two spaces still works for me unless trying to stay within the 140 character limit of Twitter or some other limitation. Two spaces more clearly shows the end of a sentence, especially on mobile devices. The advancing age of my eyeballs also plays into the equation. I may not be Olde Skool but I definitely have one foot in the past.

    1. Text messaging is okay but I like correct punctuation and spelling most of the time
    2. I am a vinyl fan but my gf won’t let me set up my stereo at her house, so MP3s are my go to format.
    3. I listen to classic radio programs (Burns and Allen, Boston Blackie, etc.) on satellite radio.
    4. I used to have to support dot matrix and line printers – give me a laser printer!

    1. Hey! Excellent point about Twitter! I think two spaces makes Tweets easier to read, too, but I admit to editing my double spaces to fit in what I need to say in the character limit. SMILE!

      I’m with you all the way with your list! The old, live, radio shows were suck a kick! So much pressure and practice to make sure you get it all right and on time.

      I feel for your dot matrix career! Ouch!