by Douglas H. Cole
Well don't leave us in the cold! What are the relevant positions on the oxford comma and period spacing?
I believe the Oxford comma adds a great deal of clarity, and I use it. So I'd not want my editor to take a contrary view, as that would likely create friction. She agrees. She indicated she was glad I used one space after a period, which I had to retrain myself to do writing for Pyramid (thanks Steven, Sean, and Jason!). I learned on an honest-to-goodness IBM Selectric back in 9th or 10th grade, and "period-space-space" was hard as heck to un-learn.
Finally, someone who has sense to only use one space after a period. I keep telling my students about this but sometimes things are just ingrained into our society.
I think one space after a period has a rough time lasting past an encounter with a layout program. Two spaces really mucks up how programs like Adobe make your text flow.
I am with you on both fronts. It took a long time to retrain away from period-space-space, but now I regular beat that drum with fellow teachers. It's not that it's so egregious to use two spaces after a period, but it's outrageous to *teach* children to do it that way. (And nearly criminal to tell them that one space is wrong, which I've found more than once.)
Also, welcome Emily!
Welcome, Emily! And glad to hear that we agree on the Oxford Comma and spaces after a full-stop (which is, of course, the proper name for what Americans term a “period”).
Hello all! I'm very excited to be on board and to see that so many people have the right views about the Oxford Comma and spacing! ;)
I agree with Andrew--two spaces isn't WRONG, but it's unnecessary now. Saving a space means saving paper (and saving money) which is always good!
Phew! We're all on the same page for the oxford comma. Now if only I could persuade the J-school grads at work to change the style guide appropriately.
I learned on a manual typewriter (the kind with arms that locked into each other if you typed too fast). I was awed when my mom got a Selectric. It was so high tech! So, the two-spaces thing was something to unlearn once proportional typesetting became the standard in word processors. Miracles of the modern age.