My job as a senior manager at a PR agency requires me to do a fair amount of editing and writing.
Yet I am an engineer by education, and my training in these things has been mostly on-the-job (see my previous post about tips for effective writing). I am a believer in the importance of getting these things right; but am not nearly as strict and excitable as some others are when it comes to grammar and style.
Yes I am sure you have all run across the grammar taskmaster, an interesting and amusing breed (often unintenionally funny, as they tend to be rather humorless). This is a long way of pointing out an article in Slate that my colleague Heather sent to me. It rails against the practice of uisng two spaces after the period in a sentence.
I have heard arguments for both sides. Writing for Slate, Farhrad Manjoo makes a pretty convincing case for one space (I always though that using two makes the text look a little less cramped). The article brings PR into the fray as a-two spaces offender. Here is an excerpt:
Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.And yet people who use two spaces are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste.* You'd expect, for instance, that anyone savvy enough to read Slate would know the proper rules of typing, but you'd be wrong; every third e-mail I get from readers includes the two-space error. (In editing letters for "Dear Farhad," my occasional tech-advice column, I've removed enough extra spaces to fill my forthcoming volume of melancholy epic poetry, The Emptiness Within.) The public relations profession is similarly ignorant; I've received press releases and correspondence from the biggest companies in the world that are riddled with extra spaces.
A very interesting and informative article, but not a quick read - did Farhad need to (ahem) use so much space to make the point?