How Many Spaces To Use After A Sentence?

Apparently the answer is ONE. I can already feel myself wanting to use two spaces after each.  sentence.  I.  write!

According to an article on The Atlantic, the only reason that we ever used two spaces after the end of a sentence was because of a flaw in typewriters, and now every major style guide recommends just one space. Why did typewriters lead us to use two?

Well, with typewriters, all letters, numbers, and symbols all occupied the same amount of space (called "monospaced type"). So an "i" would take up the same amount of space on a line as a "W", thus leaving much more white space on the page. With more white space, it was harder to detect when a sentence ended, so the standard became to use two spaces.

Here's a great example from The Skilled Workman (which has a ton of typography tips for publishing):

Now, and since the 1970s, besides the little-used "courier" font, we use "proportional fonts" where the letters only take up the space they need. As a result, it's much easier to see where sentences end and begin. So the extra space has been dubbed "unnecessary".

To read the entire explanation from The Atlantic, click here. And for an interesting counter-argument, click here. :)

Typewriters didn't only affect our sentence-spacing, but the beginning (and arguably modern misuse) of the "Caps Lock" key. Check out a great article about that, too, on Slate.com: Click here!


Make Decisions When You Have To Pee!

Okay friends, our time with solely Reader's Digest facts has come to an end for now. But don't fret! I am sure that we'll be learning more from it as the year progresses. I am just going to go back to posting tidbits from all over. It'll be fun, okay?

For the last in my Reader's Digest series, I wanted to include this gem from an article in their June 2012 issue called "4 Wacky Health Tips That Work":

Tip 1: Eat Sugar, Act Sweeter

Tip 2: Smellier Foods Help You Slim Down

Tip 3: Curse To Kill Pain [Faster]

Tip 4: Make Important Decisions When You (Really) Gotta Go
"People with full bladders may be better at making decisions, according to a Dutch study. If you show self-control in terms of a bodily function (such as going to the bathroom), you're more likely to show self-control in decision making, holding out for a long-term reward instead of jumping on an impulse."
So, if you felt discouraged with last week's post about decision fatigue, maybe this will help you know what to do when you're fatigued, but still really need to make the decision!

I'm curious to test the theory. I bet you get different results, though, if you tell the person "you can go to the bathroom as soon as you make this decision." In that case, the impulse may win!



Other Uses For Dryer Sheets

Who knew that dryer sheets could be used for so much more than fluffing your towels?  Reader's Digest did, of course!

From their June 2012 issue, you can use dryer sheets to:

"Remove Fur": Rub a sheet over furniture and upholstery to eliminate pet hair

"Perfume the Room": Put a sheet in your vacuum cleaner bag to add a fresh scent while cleaning

"Degunk Pots": Drop a sheet into a dirty pot or pan, fill with hot water, and let soak overnight to help get off grime

"Scent Your Stories": Place a sheet in an old book and place in a ziplock bag for 3 days to remove the musty odor

"Keep The Car Bug-Free": Dip one in water and use to wipe away dead bugs on your windshield and grill

"Discourage Deer": Tie one-inch strips of the sheet on trees or plants to repel deer

If that's not enough, check out these 10 uses for dryer sheets from Real Simple: click here!

Isn't it nice to fix problems with stuff you already have?