Grammar

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Dubbelboer, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Mark Dubbelboer

    Mark Dubbelboer Screenwriter

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    The AutoCAD technologist in our office was just trying to explain to me that after a period you only need to put one space before starting the next sentence. I said that was silly, it's always been two spaces. She gave some half-assed answer about how with computers it became irrelevant and that the two-space rule was a typewriter only rule. Am I this far out of the loop or is she making stuff up?

    I don't know where else to turn...so please convince me of my sanity
     
  2. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    If it makes you feel better, I've never heard of that. I always use two spaces. My kids use two spaces in school.
     
  3. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    The magic number is 2, no more no less. 1 is not enough, 3 is too many. 4 is right out. [​IMG]
     
  4. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I'm not actually sure if there is a rule or more of a "this is what everyone does". I've been told both 2 and 1 space, but I personally do 2.
     
  5. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Your first mistake was arguing grammar with an AutoCAD technologist, unless she also happened to be an English major. Your second was in not telling her that she's just plain wrong. It's two spaces after a period.

    p.s. What's a typewriter?

    p.p.s. What's an AutoCAD 'technologist'. Is that one of those people who pretends to be a drafter but is really a CAD operator who knows nothing about proper drafting?
     
  6. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I heard that journalists sometimes use only one space, but I ALWAYS use two.
     
  7. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    You know what's funny?None of you used two spaces between any of your sentences!
     
  8. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    Actually, in the age of computers we have thrown out grammar altogether, so sentences like "i m l33t d00d, u r suck!" are perfectly acceptable.
     
  9. Alan Benson

    Alan Benson Stunt Coordinator

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    In the days of fixed-width fonts, it was always "2 spaces after a period." And "2 spaces" is still the norm...
    Those who argue that we have moved (or should move) to a single space have a point, but they've never been more than a vocal minority...
    Then again, I like to end nearly every sentance in my posts with an elipsis, so what do I know? [​IMG]
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    WTF??!! I have never heard of that one... AFAIK, everything I have ever read had 1 space after the period. Heck, MSWord screams at you when you have more than 1 space, is this some kind of joke?

    --

    Holadem
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  12. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Strictly speaking, this isn't a question of grammar. It's a question of typographical conventions. The two-space convention does date from the days of the typewriter. Some professional printers still follow it, and some don't. It's not a question of right or wrong, but of what set of conventions a publisher (or other organization) chooses to adopt.
    In case anyone's wondering how I know, I once was an English teacher, and after that I was the technical editor for a professional journal. Then I logged onto the internet, and it all went to hell. [​IMG]
    M.
     
  14. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    She is not making it up. I have run into that explanation in several reference books. It is not universally followed, however.

    I have a hard time breaking myself of the two space habit, which I learned when I learned to type on a manual typewriter.

    By the way, this is not a grammar question - it's a spacing/punctuation question.

    And when you end a sentence with an ellipsis marks, you use three spaced periods followed by the necessary terminal punctuation (exclamation point, question mark, period).

    (PS Michael beat me to some of this while I was composing my reply. I am also a former English teacher, now editor, now lawyer.)
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As Michael notes, this is not a grammatical issue but a punctuation issue. In the journalism biz, we always use one space only after the period/question mark/exclamation mark.
     
  16. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    It is true that the new convention is to use one space after a period when using a computer to format your text. I learned this from a book called The Mac is Not a Typewriter. There is a similar book for all the PC users called The PC is Not a Typewriter with exactly the same information about proper formatting.
    The reason for this is because computers don't use fixed width fonts like a typewriter. The period takes up such a small space that it isn't necessary to double-space between sentances.
    Other formating issues that go out the window with computers is using spaces to line up text. You should use tabs. These books also teach the proper use of the en-dash and em-dash as well as other typesetting issues that computers are cabable of handling that typewriters were unable to.
     
  17. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    As a graphic designer, I gotta tell you, two spaces after a period really bugs me. Good designers never use two spaces.
     
  18. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    I've never heard of using two spaces on a computer. I've only ever used one.

    Adam
     
  19. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I have always used just one space. Then again, I don't "technically" know how to type.
     
  20. andrew markworthy

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    Just to confuse matters - in publishing, it depends upon the publishing house. I habitually use a single space after a full stop (sorry, period)in manuscripts and electronic text. Most publishers accept this. Once in a while, a publisher will insist on two spaces. Just try putting in an extra space after each period in a book-length manuscript.
     

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