Two spaces or not two spaces; that is the question

ThisNThat-0316 / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
The world as we know it is being threatened by a vicious, insidious plot. One of the key underpinnings of our free society is under attack by a gang of thugs.

Everything was going well until a few years ago when technocrats and cyberbullies united and assaulted the long-held truth that you always put two spaces after a period when you’re typing. They have the audacity and gall to pontificate that you only need to use one space after a period. They spout some psychobabble about typewriters using monospaced type while computers don’t. If you use two spaces after a period, they say you’re an ignorant Neanderthal and unfit to live in their sophisticated world. They ignore the fact that the two-spaces rule has been around forever. I’m pretty sure it’s even in the Bible. I think it’s in the book of Numbers.

Technology writer Farhad Manjoo went so far as to say, “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.” That was hurtful. We two-spacers do have feelings, you know.

Mr. Manjoo obviously never met Mrs. Arthur. She would have jerked him into line in a hurry. Mrs. Arthur was my high school typing teacher. She was a stern, no-nonsense lady who did not suffer fools gladly. When she said you put two spaces after a period then you jolly well better put two spaces after a period if you valued your wellbeing.

I took typing my senior year since my brain was about to explode from chemistry and physics and geometry and stuff like that. I thought a typing class would give me an hour a day to relax and pick up an easy “A” at the same time. As a bonus, there were plenty of good-looking girls in the typing class and I might get to sit next to that cute blonde we all remember. As I recall, I did get an “A,” but no blonde.

Despite biblical admonitions and the intimidating spirit of Mrs. Arthur, the geeks are continuing their attack against our precious tradition of two spaces after a period. We must unite and fight back against the unholy assault. The civilized world is depending on us.

Fortunately, we have a powerful ally in our struggle. The brilliant cartoonist Berkeley Breathed recently brought his wonderful comic strip “Bloom County” back to life after 25 years. Shortly after the new strip began appearing online, the lovable and pudgy penguin Opus announced he is running for president as the Meadow Party’s candidate. He vows that he will bring back two spaces after a period. “We will return what has been taken from our lives…taken without asking us! Ripped from our souls! As God as my witness…I will bring them back!” You have to admit Opus makes a lot more sense than most of the yahoos who are running for president.

We can’t back down on this fight. It’s too important. All that is precious and sacred in life is depending on us.

Will I ever relent and use only one space after a period? Of course I will.

When they pry my dead, cold thumb from the space bar.

Editor’s note: Okay, Fred, just this one time, we’ll wave the white flag and allow double spaces so fellow two-spacers can enjoy this small (but far from permanent) victory.

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