An Example of Sherlock Holmes Detective Work:

Word processors are great equalizers. Today, anyone with access to a passable word processor and an inkjet printer can produce high quality copy, basically indistinguishable from any similarly produced product. And with a spelling checker (put to use) it often becomes close to impossible to find identifying marks. There's a Sherlock Holmes story (I can't remember which) in which Holmes identifies the criminal by analyzing the type on a note left by him. He explains to Watson that typewriters wear differently, and thus the particular typewriter that the note was written on has a distinct, and identifiable style. Word processors and high quality printers seem to have put the days when it was possible to identify someone that way far behind us.

But this particular post actually contains an interesting identifying sign. Americans who learned typing in Junior High School, at least a generation ago, were taught that after a period they should type two spaces before the start of the next sentence in order to create the proper spacing between sentences. Word processors changed that - periods contain larger spacing after them than do letters, and thus with only one space after a period there's still sufficient spacing between sentences. People who have learned to type since the days of word processing aren't taught to put in two spaces, and people who have been word processing for a long time have gotten out of the habit of two spaces. I copied the post in question from my mail program to my word processor in order to prepare it for inclusion here, and then noticed that there were two spaces after each period.

That seems to be conclusive, Holmesian, evidence that the person writing that post learned to type before the days of word processors, and hasn't yet been using a word processor for very long.

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