Why I Love Typographers

Because they have standards, damn it, and they don’t get all PC about them.

“Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong,” Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. “When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay,” she told me. “I talk about ‘type crimes’ often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It’s a pure sign of amateur typography.”

What prompted this tirade was an observation that people who learned typing on computers do it. Putting in two spaces after a period (full stop) is the correct thing to do on a typewriter.

When I edit a piece of text, the first thing that I do is run a search-and-replace for two spaces. I know that I still sometimes put two spaces between words, but that is more of a nervous stutter-while-typing.

Via Ann Althouse.

4 thoughts on “Why I Love Typographers

  1. Typographers are fun too. All you have to do is add 2 spaces between sentences ~ or do weird things in your emails or comments~ and they erupt in a flurry. Ruffled feathers and quail come to mind. Then if you really want a good show, change font half way through a sentence, or change font every paragraph, or just font size, or just add some random purple text. Or those marching ants. Remember those?

  2. Leonie Alemann

    Why should the rule be different on an computer than on a typewriter? I learned to type in 1965 on an Underwood typewriter that had been built in 1905. I was eleven. My mother had been a secretary and bookkeeper and she taught me. I still, as you can see, leave two spaces after the period. It is a habit that my thumb does without my conscious awareness, and I see no reason why I should go back and change them; they certainly do no harm, and they serve admirably to separate sentences from all the new-fangled electronics-based uses for what was once the period.

  3. As the linked article explained, most typewriters used monospaced fonts, where an “i” was as wide as an “m”.

    Double-spacing after a period created a necessary visual break.

    In word-processing programs, however, (a) letters are proportionately spaced and (b) the software knows to put extra space after a period so you don’t have to.

    PS: Changing old habits helps build new neural connections in the brain, I am told.

  4. Daniel Cohen

    Have you seen a book recently published (in England, don’t know about the USA) called Just My Type. A very interesting popular book about fonts, their use and history.

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