Thursday, January 17, 2013

Then again, I might just try to prove "Not Yellow". I'm crazy that way. (You're Famous-ish, So I Commented.)

Paul Parducci:

 is, according to his blog, an "American Actor,Filmmaker, Author and Speaker," who appeared in TV shows, created what he called "the smash hit Mobi/Webisode Comedy Series 'Nightmare Boss,' and also wrote a book called "Wet Linda," which actually sounds pretty good ("A self-hating Eighteen year-old moves into a sterile California suburb and her life becomes a lung-filling nightmare as she comes under the control of something very evil met at the community pool.")

His blog is called "Paul Parducci's Blog," and the latest post on it is a cryptic installment of a Youtube video featuring a guy named "Michael Chekhov" talking about acting on an old record, with no explanation or context.

Here is  what I said:

It's 6:41 a.m. right now. Sometimes I like to note the time that I leave a comment, especially because I'm not sure if the comment itself will note the time or day or date that I leave the comment. I think that's important to know, but maybe it isn't.

That opener was a real dead-end as far as a lead-in to this comment. As is this paragraph. So instead of worrying about what I'm saying, I'm going to just keep on saying it, and one of the things I'll say is that I am experimenting, in this comment, with whether I should leave one space or two after a period.

This is a subject of considerable distress, if you go by the nonjournalism that passes for journalism these days. About a year ago I read an article that included a little bit of reporting that said that the two-space standard, hitting that space-bar twice after a period, was come up with in the old typesetting days, something to do with making sure we could tell, with denser print, that the sentence had ended. But, that 'article' said, those days are gone and nowadays we should only use one space after a period.

I thought the non-controversy, or "nontroversy" (Copyright me 2013) was over there and never thought much about it again, but then I saw a headline last week on Slate that said something like "Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces After A Period," which sort of made me mad, and so mad that I could not go read the article, because: really? NEVER EVER?

Will it HARM PEOPLE TO USE TWO SPACES? I don't think so. Will the reader think you are uncultured swine, as Potato Head called Ham when he didn't get the Picasso Joke? Will THE WORLD COME TO A SCREECHING HALT AND BEGIN ROTATING BACKWARDS...

I'm sorry. I've been listening to your guy here, this acting coach, while I type this but I can't stand it anymore. He's creepy. Did you listen to the whole thing? I couldn't do it. I have put on the "Bob & Tom Radio Show" instead, on the Internet, so that I can listen to them talk about how often they wash their bedding. I'm not sure why I listen to that show, either.

How, I wonder, can you teach acting from a record? Maybe I should have listened to that guy a little longer, but maybe not, if it was annoying me.

Here's my point: it cannot possibly matter, at all, whether I use one or two spaces after a period. Period. Cannot matter. I doubt most people even notice. You probably forgot, as you read this post, that I was even doing that, and you are maybe now even going back to look. Can you tell? Can you tell that I sometimes used one, sometimes used two spaces after a period? Did you notice that I used two spaces after the comma in that last sentence?

So I probably would have liked the article, if it had been less oversold. If Slate had headlined it something less harsh, I might have read it. But this "You should never ever ever do this because..." lead-in actually made me LESS likely to read it.

That's probably just me, though. I tend to react that way. Tell me A, I'll want to prove B. Tell me B, I'll want to prove yellow. You know how it is.


Rusty Webb said...

Well, I think you made your point quite well. Never, ever, say to never, ever, do a thing. Or you will, never, ever, be happy about the person saying it.

Andrew Leon said...

So now I'm thinking of Bond movies. Thanks...

You do know that it was just that kind of articles about serialization that made me start serializing Shadow Spinner, right? The article had almost the same kind of title: Never, Ever Serialize. It was all hogwash. And Spinner has been pretty well. And, well, serializing seems to be a thing that is coming back, now, so... yeah, those kinds of articles are dumb.

Make sure you stop by my blog today. I expect an entry from you.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

My publisher demands two spaces after a period in their formatting.

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