Tag Archives: computer

Hell hath no fury like two spaces after a period scorned…..

Tired of talking about the basketball tournament and brackets? Looking to stir up an engaging conversation at the water cooler?

Try out this question I posted on Facebook…

I know the answer,
But what say you,
One space
after a period

or two?

Who knew punctuation could be so controversial? Over 30 people nearly declared war on the single space, demanding two blank spaces should follow the period. “My typing teacher told me so,” they admonished. Whoa.

The poor older folks who learned to type on a typewriter are reluctant to get off the rickety ole bandwagon of yesteryear and hop on the one space train of today. Even when the experts who write the editing bibles like The Chicago Manual of Style, the AP Stylebook , and the Modern Language Association recommend using one space after a period at the end of a sentence.

(Just by the by – the practice of using two spaces is usually called “French spacing” and is considered outdated.)

The rationale is simple. Typefaces used to be monospaced, meaning each letter took up the same amount of space on the page (you can see this in the font called courier). Putting two spaces after a period eased readability. Computer fonts can be proportionally spaced which automatically eases readability (notice an “l” takes up less space than an “w”). This makes an empty space look like an empty space rather than a part of a word.

Number one hubby works at a publishing company. They edit over 17 million pages a year. Pssst. They use one space after a period.

What say you – one space or two?

What would Dr. Seuss Do……….

I know times are tight and everyone is suffering, but my local library took it a little too far yesterday. I get it that checking books out at the library saves money – it is a wonderful convenience. So I try to do it. But I don’t always follow up with “part b” of that idea – the part of returning the books on time so you don’t have to pay fines – thus guaranteeing the saving money part of the deal.

In my attempt to be a productive member of society, I went to the library to pay any fines we owe. I thought this was pretty good – we are moving out of the country – I didn’t really have to do this – the library police aren’t really going to track me down in Delhi and make me read more books.

I get up to the counter – tell the librarian why I am there – apologize for not having my library card – ask if she would mind looking up our account numbers.

Librarian: Oh, you don’t have your card?
Me: No – I am sorry – we are moving – it’s been crazy – I don’t have the right purse – Is there a way you can look it up? Please. Pretty please with library fines on top.
Librarian: We charge for that service now
Me: Service? What service?
Librarian: Looking up your card number
Me: Isn’t it on the computer – the one right in front of you – the one you will be using to look up my fine anyway?
Librarian: Yes
Me: Ok then – how much is it?
Librarian: It is a dollar per account number
Me: Gasping for air – a dollar? I have 4 card numbers to look up – I just want to clear my account – I might not even have $4 in fines (yes, that was wishful thinking)
Librarian: Wait, are you just paying fines?
Me: (with no books in my hand) Yes – we are moving – don’t really need to check out anything – unless of course you have a reciprocity agreement with the Public Library of New Delhi – now that you mention it, I do need something good for the plane
Librarian – completely unamused
Me – that would be “yes”, I am just paying a fine, but I will need you to look up the fines on that computer – if I can’t even remember my library card, I certainly do not know how much my fines are
Librarian – in that case we won’t charge you
Me – Wow
Librarian: over-extending herself to enter my phone number – yes, all ten digits – to find my account numbers.

She had to do it 4 whole times and it took her about 2 and a half minutes to look up my numbers, calculate my fines, collect my money, and give me change. In fact, it took her longer to tell me about the charges than it did to collect the overdue fines. I can totally (not) see why they are charging for that service now. If I had books to check out and they mentioned charging me to simply look up my account number, I probably would have actually left the books at the counter. Seriously, enough is enough. That would certainly cause more work for the librarian than just entering those 10 digits into the computer.

So, I paid the $20 in fines (still cheaper than the book store) and I cleared my conscience of late fees and overdue books. Yes, I believe Dr. Seuss would be proud – very proud.

I know this is not cause for a riot – maybe it’s not even worthy of a blog post – but it really irritates me that the library would charge me for something they have to do anyway. Is it really that much more daunting to have to enter a phone number than to swipe a card? Really, is it? Isn’t this why computers were invented? To make life easier? Let’s use technology to our advantage. Seriously.

Blah Blah Blah………………

P.S. I don’t personally hold the librarian responsible for the decision to charge the fines – I know someone above her made that decision – don’t worry – no librarians were hurt or yelled at in the writing of this post.

Skype, Skype, baby…

Do you know about this service – first of all – it’s free – yippee – and second of all, it basically lets you talk via the computer with anyone else with a computer (think conference call) – yep, no matter where they are. Even in India. And, if both parties have a camera on their computer (and are willing to turn it on), you can see who you are talking to (think video conference call). It’s very cool. And it is why I can still remember what number one hubby looks like. 😉

Anywho, you can subscribe to the service (did I mention, it’s free) at www.skype.com. If you decide to sign up, please let me know your contacts login – we can keep up!

On another note – I added a subscription link to my blog – it’s on the top of the column on the left-hand side (it’s under the heading “subscribe to this blog” – yes, I am very clever). If you click on the link and enter your email address – you will get an email when I add a post. You will have to confirm your subscription in your email – it’s easy, schmeasy to do. And, that way, you won’t miss a thing!