I have a problem. It’s typing related. You see, I am old enough to have been taught (actually taught – by a lovely lady called Mrs Hocking) to touch type. And in those days we were taught to leave two spaces after a full stop – which was correct on old manual – or even electric – typewriters, which had a fixed space width. Computers, on the other hand, can work out that they need to leave a little more space after a full stop to make the text look correct. This is automatic. Thus I know – theoretically at least – that I only need to leave one space after a full stop when using my laptop.
Knowing this fact makes no difference. I’ve been touch typing for…ahem…years and since you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, I am struggling to adjust to one space. Even if my brain knows one space is all that is required, my right thumb has other ideas. I can’t stop.
And I never realised it was an issue until recently when I started to discover that some magazines actually stipulate the use of only a single space in submitted stories. Shocking that my over-active right thumb could potentially be causing a strike against me with editors around the country. “Well, we thought the story was ok, but decided against it because of those double spaces.”
I’ve learnt to adapt to ‘single quotes’ rather than “double ones” for speech marks, but I fear the single space is just a step too far…