124: This and thatPosted: January 24, 2011
Two things have come to my attention recently that I am sure must have crossed your path too if you listen to, read, watch, or otherwise keep up with what passes for news in the U.S. For my friends and visitors outside of the U.S., it will be interesting to me to find out if these (not so serious) concerns have passed by your way recently.
Period. End of sentence.
The first one is the period at the end of a sentence and the two space rule. Way back in the day when I was
forced coerced encouraged to take typing as a freshman in high school (along with the now defunct shorthand because I am female and being a secretary was all the rage for young women in those days) we were taught to put two spaces after the end of a sentence. It was the done thing. I still do it. I have long known that WordPress somehow eliminates that extra space in the mysterious way that user-friendly blogging works. I just didn’t realize the why’s of it.
Slate.com has an interesting article on Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period. Being one of those people who doesn’t spend a lot of time looking back (for instance, I am not a big fan of classic rock to the exclusion of listening to new stuff as some in my generation seem to be), I am now going to work hard at eliminating the extra space in my typing. It’s not that I mind extra space (and would applaud it in my home). It’s the rebel aspects of it that grab me. The teacher I had in high typing (and dictation) class, a classic herself, wouldn’t approve. That in itself might be reason enough for me to adopt the single space (she was a terror!). But being given a good reason for making a change, one that makes sense, I will willingly move on. My fingers, however, insist on typing two spaces after the end of each sentence. It might take them a while to catch up with my brain.
Put your “X” here
The other change that caught my attention this week is not such a positive to me. It started with a blurb in the news about how Georgia is dropping cursive from its new curriculum standards. The elimination of one space I can take (even if I’m still struggling to implement it). But the loss of cursive handwriting? (See stories here and here.)
I know email, blogging, texting, Facebook, and Twitter have become major channels of communication in this day and age. Not many people send a handwritten note or letter anymore. That’s sad, really. I have always enjoyed hand writing letters, post cards, and notes. And I’ve always, always enjoyed receiving them. There is something so much more personal about a handwritten letter or note.
But on a practical note, and this is something I haven’t seen discussed, how in the world are people going to sign contracts if they are not taught handwriting so that they can develop a unique signature? Or will that even be necessary? I know I’ve contracted to a few things electronically, without having to physically sign a document, so I assume it’s possible that we will eventually move into a world where a unique, physical signature is no longer necessary.
Still. It is a loss, in my opinion. When the power goes out and you have a story idea, a pen and paper are pretty handy. I’ve yet to find the computer faster than pen and paper for making a grocery list. And while I’m sure a good (maybe even a mediocre) forger could duplicate my signature, it’s nice to think that my individuality and voice are there in a physical way when I decide to put pen or pencil to paper and write. I enjoy the feel of a good pen on nice paper. There is a sensuality to it that I don’t get from typing on a keyboard or staring at computer screen as the letters appear.
Snow and cold
We woke to find it -7°F again. That’s warmer than a lot of places were this morning. Snow has been falling since mid-morning. We are at the point in winter where it doesn’t matter. Just keep piling it on. We’re used to it.
The good news is that it has warmed up into the 20’s. We’ll be in the 30’s tomorrow. Almost summer!
I didn’t take any photos while outside today. There was too much snow falling from the sky and honestly, I wasn’t terribly inspired. So let’s look at some flowers instead.
That’s much more colorful than anything outside today. 🙂