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The Two Space rant

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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The Two Space rant
on: March 01, 2024, 01:54:01 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I was an English major and I am well versed in grammar.

But I was told today, by someone MUCH younger than me today that when I write cover letters for potential jobs, I am putting two spaces after a period to start a new sentence.  Like that.  And this.  This is (according to this person) likely the reason I haven't gotten a new/better job, as HR people read this as me dating myself (you know, ageism) and suggesting that I am not progressive.

As far as I am concerned, it is a matter of personal choice, and I prefer to be a bit more formal, especially in a formal setting, like a cover letter.

I'm also really not interested in working for a place where the employers are going to judge me by how many spaces I put in between sentences in a report or letter rather than the content or substance of the letter itself.  If they are willing to ignore my skills, training and experience (you know, things of actual substance) and discount me because of an extremely minor habit that doesn't hurt anyone, then do I really want to work for these people?

Okay, so here's the flip side- I know that some of you are asking me why I am getting so angry over something so minor while "they" are getting upset over the same thing?

Well, you would be right, except if you did ask that, my reply is that I am angry not because of something so minor, but because the sum of my experiences, training, knowledge and background, something I hold in great value, is being discounted over something minor, and that seems like a pretty good reason to be angry.

Am I overreacting?  Or just being crotchety?

Mabe I shud start typing lyk a kid so they dont think M sus.

Def
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us Offline Barry Rowland

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #1 on: March 01, 2024, 02:00:53 PM
Spot on Def and sadly, a good many of my son's teachers aren't writing much better than the last sentence you put down there :facepalm:
Barry


us Offline BPRoberts

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #2 on: March 01, 2024, 02:20:54 PM
I don't know if it's different up in Canada, but double space after period is not considered "formal" in the US, just dated. That being said, it would be ridiculous if that was hurting your chances. In my experience, if you can actually write a complete sentence you're ahead of a lot of hiring managers.


nl Offline glenfiddich1983

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #3 on: March 01, 2024, 02:22:17 PM

I'm also really not interested in working for a place where the employers are going to judge me by how many spaces I put in between sentences in a report or letter rather than the content or substance of the letter itself. 


The employers themselves may not even know that the HR people that are selecting the candidates, are discarding experienced candidates over such silly reasons  :think:
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us Offline SteveC

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #4 on: March 01, 2024, 02:46:28 PM
Never heard of putting two spaces after a sentence as being formal  :dunno:

 I put one space after a sentence or comma, do youngsters not put any spaces after ?     

Now I just put a space before a question mark. Is that questionable as well ?

 :ahhh


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #5 on: March 01, 2024, 03:36:31 PM
Never heard of putting two spaces after a sentence as being formal  :dunno:

 I put one space after a sentence or comma, do youngsters not put any spaces after ?     

Now I just put a space before a question mark. Is that questionable as well ?

 :ahhh

Two spaces after the period goes back t the good old days of typewriters, where each letter took the same amount of space, whether it was an I or a W.  One space between sentences didn't really leave enough room to differentiate sentences easily because there were often spaces in words where thinner letters had lots of room between them. The double space became common as it made the page easier to read.

Nowadays computers assign each letter the space it needs and no more, which means the text fits together properly and you don't really need the double space between sentences.

So basically by using the double space at the end of a sentence (or preceding the next)  you are showing that you are older than computers, or at least, old enough to have been taught by someone that predates computers- aka old people.  Ew.

Def
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us Offline IMR4198

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #6 on: March 01, 2024, 03:54:33 PM
   I always double space.  Learned it in typing class.  Remember the manual typewriters with no letters on the caps of the keys?  That kind. 
   Either way doesn't bother me much.  It appears that atrocious spelling is almost required on all forums.  I suppose people never learned the difference between there, they're, and their.  Also, to, two, and too.  I sometimes type a clunker by mistake.  We all do.  Sometimes I make up a word on purpose.  I also write sentence fragments on purpose.  That probably irritates readers as well.  If my double spacing is dated?  Too bad.
Best wishes.  Gary
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us Offline Alan K.

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #7 on: March 01, 2024, 04:57:44 PM
My sister is the Editor of Publications for a university and has to approve almost everything the uni puts its name on before it goes to the printer.  She said that when they receive something double spaced at the end of sentences they remove the double spacing.  It is a dated and no longer necessary custom.  That said, I double space between sentences myself.  I always have.  It's how I was taught, and I guess that is another indicator that I should get the senior discount when I go out.  However, I wouldn't pass on any candidates simply because they double spaced.  I wouldn't notice one way or the other.  I'd be reading those applications for work experience and reliability and wouldn't worry about something that is dated but still considerred acceptible and correct. 


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #8 on: March 01, 2024, 09:34:40 PM
We ditched it at some point, presumably when word kept giving the blue squigglies and everyone cracked the smurfs.

cover letters/resumes are one of those weird things - I know a lot of pointless people put great stock in them, and there's courses you can do to write a "good" one - but unless you're applying for a job as a cover letter writer, it's the dumbest smurf ever conceived.

Put the facts in, have an interview, hire the most plausible candidate *for the job*

related, job ads themselves - often seem to be written by someone who has no idea what the job is.

A couple of times I've applied for jobs and basically gone in (maybe a bit "strong") and said "You should hire me because your ad is bad, and I know what you actually need, and I happen to be good at it - all your other applicants are smurfs"


now, I've never succeeded with that technique, but...I do what I do...want to talk about what I do? cool, lets do that- but if you're hiring me *you don't have someone who knows how to talk about what I do*

(fortunately for me, I get jobs through recommendations these days, I don't need to sell myself too hard....until I come up against a business that has hired a "speSmurfpillst" HR person, in which case I generally move on.  This isn't mortal kombat, you shouldn't have to work up to a boss fight - let me talk to the person I'll be reporting to or I'll work somewhere else.)


us Offline SteveC

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #9 on: March 01, 2024, 11:13:09 PM


So basically by using the double space at the end of a sentence (or preceding the next)  you are showing that you are older than computers, or at least, old enough to have been taught by someone that predates computers- aka old people.  Ew.

Def

Or someone who got a D in typing class   :D

Only class I ever got a D in   :facepalm:


us Offline nate j

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #10 on: March 01, 2024, 11:21:23 PM
This isn't mortal kombat, you shouldn't have to work up to a boss fight - let me talk to the person I'll be reporting to or I'll work somewhere else.
:rofl:
So true though.


us Offline AzteCypher

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #11 on: March 01, 2024, 11:28:14 PM
I sill own a mechanical and electric typewriter and I work in IT for a living.  I still double space.  Like Gary, I learned it in typing class.  I don't care if it's old, I like the way it looks and it's hard to retrain my hands otherwise at this late stage in the game.

Some of those same people that say it's "antiquated" can't even write in cursive.  My previous director was impressed that I could write in cursive.  He was about 10yrs younger than me hence why he was impressed I guess.  It's an "antiquated" way of writing is what I hear.  I'd be more embarrassed to admit that I can't write in cursive.

All that being said, I sincerely doubt you will be overlooked because of the double space after the period.  Every manager and director I've worked with, could care less about the double space.  They care more about what you bring to the table.  When I had to help hire new people, my questions always revolved on what you can bring to the table, how you react in real world situations, etc.  I don't want to hear about the dog and pony show, I want to hear how you deal with stuff when it hits the fan and what you're going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Alright, I'm off my soapbox. 
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us Offline nate j

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #12 on: March 01, 2024, 11:28:57 PM
I’m young enough to have learned to type on a computer rather than a typewriter, but old enough to have been taught that two spaces between sentences was the correct way to do it.

I recognize it is no longer necessary, but it is such an ingrained habit that I doubt I will ever change.

Any employer who judges you on the basis of whether you put one or two spaces between sentences isn’t one you want to work for anyway.


us Offline Barry Rowland

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #13 on: March 02, 2024, 02:15:48 AM
Who would have ever guessed it would be as critical a skill as it has become buddy?  I fought my parents tooth and nail against taking typing and now I'm glad they made me.
You know, I just noticed I double spaced after my periods, etc?  :facepalm:
Or someone who got a D in typing class   :D

Only class I ever got a D in   :facepalm:
Barry


us Offline Barry Rowland

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #14 on: March 02, 2024, 02:16:38 AM
To this day my hands are strong from learning on a manual typewriter  :rofl:
I’m young enough to have learned to type on a computer rather than a typewriter, but old enough to have been taught that two spaces between sentences was the correct way to do it.

I recognize it is no longer necessary, but it is such an ingrained habit that I doubt I will ever change.

Any employer who judges you on the basis of whether you put one or two spaces between sentences isn’t one you want to work for anyway.
Barry


no Offline Vidar

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #15 on: March 02, 2024, 01:32:42 PM
If they are willing to ignore my skills, training and experience (you know, things of actual substance) and discount me because of an extremely minor habit that doesn't hurt anyone, then do I really want to work for these people?

I would hold that against them, and think twice. Then again, chances are the once doing the hiring might be distanced from the people you'll actually work with?

Surely your age is clearly stated somewhere anyway, so need to go space counting to discover that? And I would be very hesitant to do tea leaf readings about someone's personality based on the same. Any conclusion drawn based on that sounds like voodoo guesswork and just as likely to be wrong as right. (Dated, non-progressive, formal, correct, keeps procedures, stickler for detail, independent thinker, don't budge to fads... Anything can be read into that). More importantly, if that is how you do things then that is a correct presentation of you?  Rather than misrepresenting yourself?
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wales Offline GearedForwards

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #16 on: Today at 12:53:03 AM
Never heard of the double space thing in the UK, so probably a regional thing?

I get why you'd be frustrated, but to be honest, I'd take the advice you're given. You're seeing it as 'all of my being be reduced to X' when in reality, who you are as a person doesn't matter for smurf until a real person is involved. It is worryingly common for applications and cover letters to be fed through filters and what not to cut back on the workload of the hiring staff, which obviously leaves a lot of perfectly good talent on the cutting room floor without even seeing an interviewer.

I get why you're frustrated, but personally, I'd just drop the double space thing. It might not help to drop it. It might not hurt to keep it. But when trying to finagle your chances as high as possible, no spaces left behind.

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us Offline Aloha

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #17 on: Today at 01:11:10 AM
I'm old. 
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us Offline LoopCutter

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Re: The Two Space rant
Reply #18 on: Today at 01:46:44 AM
Funny, I did not know it was a thing until watching a TV show Thursday night, ELSBETH, the main character noticed a difference in TXT MSGs sent from the victim's phone.

Now reading this, wow, we are victims of proper manners!  Lessons ingrained into us ages ago. 
A part of this may be do to AI technology reviewing submitted papers, and even reading prepared scripts.  Has anyone noticed broken diction on YouTube and Instagram?  Even the fake celebrity endorsements for products I consider questionable.

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