Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A boring, mundane question

When you send a paper to a friend for comments, does etiquette demand that you double-space?

--Mr. Zero

15 comments:

PA said...

Given that you are presumably sending an electronic copy, she can double-space it herself if she likes (unless, of course, you send a pdf).

Anonymous said...

It's official. This site has devolved into worthlessness.

Platowe said...

I'm with PA. I'm working with two co-authors right now on two papers, and I send word-processed stuff (no pdf) in single-space, because that's how I prefer to write. I've always felt that single space gives me a better sense of what it looks like in print; I reserve larger spacing for papers that I must read aloud.

Anonymous said...

ANON IS PUBLIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

diomedea exulans said...

Why don't you ask your friend? (I'm not trying to be a jerk. Some folks like room to write comments, others don't care. I'm not even sure this is an etiquette issue.)

Anonymous said...

I stipulate quadruple spacing and 24-point font...that way I can read it without my spectacles.

Anonymous said...

If you send me "word-processed stuff", I'll ask you to resend as a PDF. You'll most likely get back an annotated PDF. I may have a machine with open office on it, but I generally stay as far away from the WYSIWYG stuff as possible.

If this person is a friend, a simple "how do you want this" might be in order. He or she might even want a paper copy!

Anonymous said...

I stipulate quadruple spacing and 24-point font...that way I can read it without my spectacles.

Are you one of my students?

Platowe said...

Despite good intentions, I'm leaning toward agreeing with Anon 3:46. Apparently there is not something that everyone doesn't know, and though possibly everyone does know every thing about every thing, still there might be some things that some people don't know. What a statement to give a higher-order symbolic class! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Assuming that you send a pdf-file to, say, a reading group (that is: no reformatting, no asking in advance), you should single-space the thing. After all, it should be as readable as possible, and to find out what's readable, why not look at professional publications? Those guys tend to know what they are doing, and a quick overview will reveal that no professional publisher is using double spacing. The double spacing may be meant to avoid losing the line during reading, but that can also be achieved by more generous margins, which also gives space for comments.

And as to the site's worthlessness, if I get just one less double-spaced paper because of this thread, it was definitely worth it.

Anonymous said...

12:56,
Of course, journals and books are under the constraint of getting more stuff per page (otherwise their printing costs shoot up or they accept fewer papers, etc.).

On the other hand Philosophers' Imprint does it that way too, and they have no such constraints.

Personally, I'd rather get it single-spaced. But (pace 6:47) I'd strongly prefer a Word document.

Anonymous said...

Send it in Word (or whatever) so that the person can format it into whatever they find it easiest to read. Pdf's are annoying in the extreme.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why people send stuff around double-spaced. I guess the idea is to leave room for comments. But it's much easier to read single-spaced, I think. Why would this be an issue of etiquette at all anyway?

Anonymous said...

Of course, when I send LaTeX source to anon 10:59, I'll presumably be told to change my tool chain to "what everyone uses" or screw off. "Whatever" tends to be in the eye of the beholder.

People send things around double-spaced because it's difficult to provide detailed editing feedback on single-spaced documents, as it requires drawing lines out into the margins and such. The need for this has been somewhat mitigated by document annotation systems, but for the most part it isn't needed anymore because of the Death of Editing.

zombie said...

Since it's going to a friend, just ask what they prefer. Your results may vary. Someone who tends to print and read hard copy would probably prefer single-spacing, but someone reading on-screen could go either way.