Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blank Spaces

Now that all the hubbub has died down concerning my last post about Christmas music at CVS, I can start my newest blog entry with an unnecessarily long sentence, like the one you are currently reading as you find yourself feeling more and more impatient in your approach to the much anticipated period, exclamation point or question mark, the pined-for punctuation heralding the end of the sentence, which, mercifully, comes now (though delayed, unfortunately for the reader, by the inclusion of some claptrap enclosed within parentheses).

Having disposed of that mess, let us continue on and greet the new year with a new blog entry. I am trying something different this year. From here on, I shall transition from the end of one sentence to the beginning of the next with only one blank space. Apparently such is the cool thing to do these days. Up until the current century, it was universally considered proper in formal prose such as term papers, magazine articles, books, and greeting cards to always end a sentence with two blank spaces. These days, however, the winds of change have blown in a new way of doing things: it is now acceptable to use but one space after a sentence. And, as the world around them crumbles into dust, Academia and the world of publishing are embroiled in the turmoil this change has caused. Vehement arguments are put forward by the two schools of thought in this controversy, each side submitting their respective arguments in long, formal jeremiads, each side shooting the number of blanks it deems proper to get their point across.

Would that the conflict were limited to the shooting of blanks, or just the written word. In fact, the debate has become so rancorous, I am told, that sporadic violence has broken out around the world.  There have been fist fights, hair pulling, gun battles, bomb throwings, flaming bags of dog manure left on front porches all in the cause of proper formatting. Interestingly, it is a little-known fact in the West that the recent upheavals in the Middle East began with two high school teachers in Egypt arguing on this matter of the blank spaces. I kid you not. The media have simply added their inevitable spin to the story to make it seem the people there are fighting for sweeping political and social change. Conspiracy theory? Do a little research yourself. Look at the facts before you dismiss me as being some kind of nut. Meanwhile, it might be a good idea to buy some ammo and a few days worth of supplies in case this thing gets out of hand here in America.

Happy New Year.