Just when I thought I was cool and hangin’ with the hipsters for once, they went ahead and changed the rules on me. Again.
I do try to stay up with trends and follow the rules which experts say will keep me safe: I’m careful about not connecting to suspicious-looking WiFi, we change the kitchen sponges regularly, our credit card statements are shredded before being tossed in the garbage, and we use the sanitizing wipes on the grocery store shopping carts. Experts regularly tell us to do these things. Who can argue with the experts, right?!
So you can imagine my dismay recently when I discovered that I’ve been doing a couple of things wrong. One minute I’m following the rules and the next I’m out of sync and no longer in style.
First, there was this article which got my head scratching:
Seriously? We went from being told that a couple of drinks was actually healthy to now being bad for us? Well, okay. Fine for you Mr./Ms. Expert, self-contained in your publish-or-perish world of academic ambition. But I dare you to tell this to Her Majesty, who at 92 still enjoys her four cocktails every day (blogger’s advisory: we are not recommending you follow her example). I have a sneaking feeling she will not be amused.
And what about all the previous studies that compared the low French and Italian rates of heart disease to the higher American ones? You expect me to just forget that now? Act like I never knew it?
Those earlier studies, from experts I remember thinking at the time were absolutely brilliant scientists, noted that the key to their findings was wine consumption on the part of European citizens, compared to the Big Mac-gulping habits of Joe Six Pack here in the United States. Once I heard this, I shedded my former sudsy ways and transitioned to wine. Of course, these same experts did make it clear that they were only recommending moderate amounts to achieve a corresponding benefit. Moderate was described as two drinks daily for men and one for women.
Now, however, with one very broad brush, a completely new set of experts are obliterating the pretext under which I have enjoyed my second drink each evening.
Forget Her Majesty, I am not amused!
We’re indeed living in sad times when moderation is removed from politics and our stemware.
The second thing to shake my world was this little ditty, also found in the Washington Post:
Again, these damn experts playing with my head and harshing my mellow. This one simply falls under the category of “nuisance,” though.
Like most people my age, I was taught to use two spaces after a period when I first leaned how to use a typewriter. For me that was back in eighth grade typing class. I remained a two-spacer all through college and during my working years.
But when I retired and became a blogger in 2014, I learned that two spaces was considered out of style. I read a number of blogs posts and grammar web sites on the topic, and decided that I too would join the ranks of the enlightened. Except for some of my earliest blog posts (which for the sake of your sanity and equilibrium, I do not recommend reading), I only use one space after every period.
It was quite awkward at first, but in time I got the hang of it. In fact, I soon began to look down my nose at those who hadn’t made the change or even knew about it. “They’re so last century,” I smugly thought.
Now, we have completely different experts, who I’m pretty sure are not aware of the new rules on moderate drinking, have announced a reversal on the spaces rule. According to them, it is now more appropriate to use two spaces again.
I’m going to be looking for Minister of Propaganda Squealer to teach us all a chant of “One space good, two spaces better!” He sure seems like someone who already has an office in this current White House.
Hard as I try to stay with the times, I have to say I’m not sure how quickly I plan on transitioning back on either of these issues. I like my pre-dinner cocktail, and I do enjoy a glass of wine during the meal itself.
With regard to spaces after a period, I’m going to stay in a holding pattern. I’ve noticed that here on the WordPress site, sentences become unaligned within a paragraph if one doesn’t stick to the one space rule (fellow bloggers, what are your thoughts?).
I don’t want to be an old dog who can’t learn a new trick, nor do I wish to be one who’s constantly chasing his tail. I just wish these experts would pick one someone their own size.
Until next time…