The Double Space and I.


I am an oversensitive perfectionist.

Which, for any embryos out there who happen to be choosing the character traits with which they will be stuck for the next eighty years, is a really crappy combination.

I still remember the fateful day in high school when someone pointed out that I said “Areenge” instead of “Orange.” It took me weeks to figure out exactly which sylabbic pronunciations were the correct combination to produce an unmockable orange, but I finally found them within myself. And for the past fifteen years, I have thought of that event every single time I’ve said the word “orange,” as I take careful precautions to get it just right.

A few years later, a coworker brought it to my attention that I said “anyways” when I really should be saying “anyway.” Anyways felt so right that I looked it up to ensure her inerrancy in correcting me, but the moment I discovered that she was legitimate, I hacked that “s” out of my vocabulary quicker than my toddler can find food on the floor and eat it.

(Or ladybugs.)

(Just kidding. That was his big sister.)

So it should be no surprise that when I saw my more journalistically-trained friends (who already greatly intimidate me due to my journalactophobia) begin posting links on Facebook and Twitter about the terrific gaffe, potential evil, and amateurishness of the double space, I began, once again, to feel that terrible aura of unacceptability within my soul.

But I couldn’t change right away. The double space was a part of who I was, and a part of over a thousand posts to which I had to still claim authorship. To shun it would most certainly shame all of my previous work, and I couldn’t bear the thought.

And plus, I thought it looked better. It was clean. It was concise. It had closure. It was exactly what the end of a sentence should be.

And after all, I had been taught that the double space was correct, and turning my back on my education was the ultimate admission of my quickly aging state.

Then again, I was also taught that Pluto was a planet.

More, more, and more “friends” began posting links to articles lambasting the double space and comparing anyone who still used it to primordial beings not worth entrance onto the internet, and certainly not into the world of print.

It pained me to think of changing. My hands – they were so accustomed to the cadence of the double tap on that long, comfortable space bar. How could they ever adapt?

Maybe my friends didn’t notice.

But one morning, I was procrastinating on the task of getting out of bed and justifying it by having deep thoughts with myself because getting a new mattress was the worst thing that ever happened to morning productivity – she’s so soft and generous with her comfort that she’s like that illogical enabling friend who doesn’t want what’s best for me, but just wants me to hang out with her all day.

(It’s as if she serenades me with “Baby It’s Cold Outside” every morning, and even though I hate that song, it totally works when sung by a mattress.)


One morning, as I was procrastinating on the task of getting out of bed and justifying it by having deep thoughts with myself, I purposed in my heart to do it. To give up my security blanket of an extra space forever and become a Big Girl Writer.

And I did.

And that was that.

Now if I could just stop using the word “infamous” incorrectly, I might make it a month or two before once more feeling vast amounts of scorn toward myself.