Spaced Out


Unrelated picture of wild greenery and blooming basil I brought in yesterday before company arrived.

Just one of those hilariously cute moments that don’t happen quite as much as your kids get older and so must be treasured:

Morgan was working on a book report last night. First high school paper. She asked me to come to the computer and read it, check over it for her. I sat down and was immediately sucked in to fixing the extra spaces between her words. There were two spaces between each word. And on and on. It finally hit me that this was not an accident and that–

A few days ago she had complained about having to double space a paper. Earlier in the evening, she’d walked by from the computer reiterating her frustration with the hassle of double spacing everything.

I got up from the computer, found her, and said, “What do you think double spacing is, Morgan?”

Morgan: “Two spaces between every word.”

I wish kids didn’t have to grow up. They are so darn funny.


  1. Charlotte says:

    Oh, that’s precious. And kinda funny!

  2. Sarah K says:

    There is a great debate over whether to use one space or two after a sentence period. Some schools and colleges still require two spaces after sentence periods. Everywhere else, publishing, style guides, etc, all seem to favor one space after a sentence period. I learned to put two spaces after every period in school, then found when I hit the real world I needed to put only one. It’s a hideously hard habit to break. I wonder which style her teachers want.

  3. Karen B says:

    :wave: Too funny! It drives me nuts when there is only 1 space after the end of a sentence. Hard to break a habit at 69…

  4. Pamela says:

    I too hate the single space between sentences. My niece regularly asked for help checking her English and French homework before she went to University and would tell her each time about the spacing after a full stop but she never remembered. We make all sorts of assumptions about what young people know. Last year I talked to my nephew about the importance of learning French grammar if he was going to take French for A level. I learned later that afterwards he had gone to his sister and asked her what grammar was!

  5. greensborodailyphoto says:

    So funny!…….. and there isn’t an easy “undo” for that one!

    The doggies in those photos look beat and are thinking, “how many more times do we have to hike up and down that road?” They’re probably negotiating who will sneak and stay behind each time.

  6. Rah says:

    Hilarious! No matter how long I teach, there’s always one more surprise around the corner. My students will enjoy this!

  7. Johanna says:

    If it’s a long paper, she could actually do a Find/replace for the two spaces, I think. It’s not the straightforward one, it’s one of the “advanced levels” of replace.

    We had to take a typing class freshman year of high school and learned there what the correct format was. Until you had that class, you could hand write your papers. If we weren’t so darned dependent on technology, she wouldn’t have had that problem!

    And now her mother’s blog has revealed it to the world! The horrors of it all!

  8. wvhomecanner says:

    I agree with Pamela’s statement:
    We make all sorts of assumptions about what young people know.
    Definitions of such things need to be given, especially to students in their first year of a new school level.
    Bet Morgan won’t forget this one! 😆

  9. Liz in Wis says:

    Thank you for the morning chuckle! 🙂

  10. Jeanne says:

    I was reading this story to my daughter and she finished the story before I could tell her what happened. She did the same thing a few years back. She said the teacher should explain it better. haha

  11. Niki S. says:

    I really miss handwriting, I don’t get along with computers. Poor girl, thats something I would do

  12. CindyP says:

    Poor Morgan! Well at least you caught it before it was printed and handed in and only let it out to the whole wide internet and not the class! THAT would have been horrific!!!! We love her even more for it, I got my first laugh of the day at least from it!

  13. Mary says:

    I like that story. Well, she learned something new, and we all got a laugh out of it. She’ll be telling her children one day.

  14. Cindy Kuipers says:

    My son, a sophomore this year, didn’t know what double spacing was either!

  15. Karen Anne says:

    That reminds me of the kid who thought the double line in the middle of the road was the motorcycle lane.

    Yes, Word’s “find and replace all” would have made fixing that a snap. Then you’d have had to do a find and replace all on period space to get the double spacing back at the end of sentences.

  16. Victoria says:

    How funny and reminds me of the time I went to pick up grandson from preschool . . . the teacher pulled me to the side to show me an unfinished page with the letter “B” and bees flying around that was to be colored by the children. My grandchild told her he could not do the page has he was allergic to bees. We still laugh about that and he will soon be 22.

  17. Senta Sandberg says:

    That is so cute! My son also just wrote his first Freshman paper. I woke him up for school and his response was, “Print!” Before I printed I proof read and fixed all the little errors. There is one run on sentance that bugs me, but I left it. I just replace capitals and the words spell check missed cause they are spelled right, but he used them wrong.

  18. Senta Sandberg says:

    I love the B story too. That is great!

  19. Lisa C. says:

    I actually laughed out loud when I read this story!! You made my morning, Morgan.

  20. Miss Becky says:

    wow, I can’t remember how I learned that double spacing meant between lines, and not words. that’s funny. if between words, that would be one long paper.

  21. Melinda says:

    I taught high school English years ago. Let Morgan know she is not the only person that thought double spacing meant between the words! Many students of mine processed the instructions the same way! It must just be the way the teenage brain thinks!

  22. SherryLeighRowell says:

    I can understand how students these days could get that idea about double spacing, and let’s not even get into the subject of learning to spell words correctly. I’ve taught English at many different grade levels, and the current emphasis is on the “quality of ideas”. Spelling, grammar, etc. are in the back seat! However, if I came across a paper with double spaced words, I would probably give extra credit to any student who understood me – face value – at my word.(But first, I would chuckle out loud -literally.)

  23. Jo says:

    Oh no!!! lol Good thing you caught it, mama!

    That reminds me of when my son was about three years old, we were driving somewhere and I was enjoying a Pepsi on our way. A little voice piped up from the back seat, “Mommy! It’s ILLEGAL to drink and drive!” lolol…

    Sometimes they take things so literally. :sheep:

  24. Ashlee says:

    Ha ha! I remember doing the same thing for a 10 page paper in middle school…I wish someone would have caught that for me before I turned it in…

  25. Barbee' says:

    Absolutely charming! And, that bouquet is beautiful. I bet it smelled good, too. When I look at it, it seems I can smell basil. Good that the dogs leave it alone. Some would pull it out and apart. They appear to be on duty to alert you when the company arrives. :pawprint:

  26. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Hahahahaha! Too funny! Since so many students make that mistake, maybe it should be explained as double-line spacing. Yes, kids do take things literally. One day, when my daughter was little, I was singing the melody to some song without the words… “Du du dudu duuudu du du…” She looked at me with a very serious expression and said, “Mommy, you said doo doo!”
    We still laugh about that one.

  27. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Sorry, that was :bugeyed:. I guess it doesn’t work when you drag the emoticon!

  28. Lori in CA says:

    Too funny. I had to share that with some of the gals at the office. You and Morgan brightened all of our day!

  29. Holly says:

    oh no – poor Morgan – all that work for nothing.

  30. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I was trying to remember how I learned this, and decided it was in Jr. High Typing class. On a typewriter, (and yes, it was a manual typewriter) the ‘double spacing,’ idea was quite clear. Like others have said, assumptions about what people know or don’t know can cause all kinds of misunderstandings. People are so used to computers taking care of spacing and spelling, too many assumptions get made. It’s really a cute story though, I hope Morgan forgives you for telling it to us! Still, like someone else said, better us than her class! I think she’s got a darned good sense of humor though, so she probably will, just remind her that a person who can laugh at themselves never lacks for entertainment!

  31. Drucillajoy says:

    AND SHE LET YOU TELL THIS STORY!?!? That’s very sweet though, it just shows how innocent we all are till exposed to the world & the ‘correct’ way of thinking.
    This also reminds me of what my now 28 yr. old son said when he was about 3…my mother had given him a cassette tape of Hyms to have for his headset cassette player, he was out in the yard when some older kids went by & asked him what kind of music he had & he said it was ‘the boys’ (hims)…well, we always thought it was cute :/

  32. rileysmom says:

    Well, it’s all about perspective……Morgan definitely proves there are several interpretations!

  33. Linda says:

    The exact thing happened here two weeks ago when our daughter, who is also in her first year of high school had to write her first report. She double spaced between the words instead of between the lines.
    We both found out that day that after typing the report she could hit the Coctron and 2 keys and it would do it for her.

  34. farmershae says:

    Thank you both for sharing that one. Sounds like something I would do!!!

  35. Darlene in North Ga says:

    Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this or I’d have been washing my monitor off and mopping the keys.

    What a hoot!

    Yes, sometimes we do hear crazy stuff.
    Let me preface this tale with the fact that I used to be a medic in the ANG and a paramedic in “real life” and I worked out of a hospital.

    When I was pregnant with my first child, I went into labor 9 1/2 weeks early. They spent 4 days trying to stop labor before they had to deliver her because of complications with me. They couldn’t do an epidural because of fluid in my lungs and because pain meds can stop or slow down labor, they wouldn’t give me anything for the pain (and they were pushing multiple doses of Pitocin (a drug that intensifies contractions).

    When my Dr finally came into the room, she told the nurse that “when the head was down”(meaning when the baby was crowning), she could administer some pain meds. So….I put the head of the bed down and looked up, said; “the head’s down” and looked expectantly for the pain meds to be pushed. :yes: It’s a hoot in the retelling, but heck, it SURE wasn’t funny then! :no:

  36. Zusiqu says:

    When I was a kidlet, until I learned better, I. put. a. period. after. every. word.

  37. princessvanessa says:

    I, too, find it hard to stop putting a second space after the period in a sentence. When I went back to the university it was a requirement to space only once after that period at the sentence end.

  38. kathy says:

    Something for an Art Linkletter book huh? Loved it though.

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