(This is just a writing exercise, not to be compared with what I usually I write about.)
I had never heard of double spacing before until I noticed it for the first time, it was a few months ago. Unintentional typographical errors were something I was very familiar with in the digital world, but this was no typographical error and it definitely wasn’t unintentional. The perpetrator knew exactly what they were doing. The double spaces were occurring frequently and regularly that I couldn’t dismiss them as innocent mistakes. It was organized crime.
That’s when I decided to look it up. What I found was shocking. Not only did double spacing exist, but it was also more common than I suspected.
For those of you who don’t know what double spacing is, allow me to illustrate. This is double spacing. Notice how I stroke the spacebar twice in-between sentences? That, my friend is called double spacing. See how annoying it is? I’ve already done it five times in case you haven’t noticed and I loathe myself for partaking in this heinous crime.
According to Wikipedia (which is my trusty source of information, I don’t care what you say), until the 20th century, publishing houses and printers in many countries used additional space between sentences. Let’s pause here. Rewind please… Okay play… “Until the 20th century”… Stop! Hear that? Until the 20th century! That means double spacing is 114 years outdated!
Now while every single book I’ve read so far (which is mildly decent compared to the average millennial) uses single spacing and while I could take it with a grain of salt had I been reading something written by someone the age of my granpappy who was born in the 1920s, I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of seeing double spacing in articles written by Generation Y children. I mean, what’s up with that? Is the hipster culture also invading our literature?
Now other than the fact that double spacing is a discouraged practice by experts (refer to the screenshot below), if you happen to have a hawk-eye for detail like me, you would find double spacing to be extremely disturbing. Personally, I hate that I have to stop my reading flow because of an unusual spacing and ask myself, “Is that double spacing?” and then select the gap with my mouse to make sure it is in fact that dreaded double spacing.
Double spacing is annoying because it’s unjustified – uncalled for. It actually hinders reading more than facilitating it as I suppose double spacers would claim to justify their actions.
Double spacing adds unnecessary spaces in your articles making them look longer, thus discouraging potential readers like myself — who before reading, scroll down to the end to know beforehand what they’re signing up for — from reading your carefully crafted gems. More importantly, double spacing perpetuates the unnecessary and not to mention easily avoidable waste of time (which we all know is money) by creating ditches along the road for people who notice them.
Finally, double spacing is selfish because it doesn’t take into consideration dyslexic readers behind the screens. According to an article I came across while researching reasons to end this abomination, double spacing is considered one of the 6 Surprising Bad Practices That Hurt Dyslexic Users because it “can create “rivers” within text that make it difficult for users to find the end of sentences. On the web, single spacing wins.”
Need I say more?
I’ve dated two double spacers in my life. It goes without saying that things didn’t work out between us.
Join me in the fight against double spacing. If you know people who use double spacing, encourage them gently to follow up with the rest of the world. If this doesn’t work, refer them to this blog post. If this still doesn’t convince them, choose to boycott their writings to take a firm stance against double spacing.
If you happen to be a double spacer, kindly knock it off. Hit that space bar once. It will take some time to adjust, but know that you’ll be helping many readers like myself enjoy a stopless reading of what you have to say.
One less space for double spacers, one comfortable cyberspace for OCD people and dyslexic readers everywhere.