retail news in context, analysis with attitude

This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.

Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

So last week in this space, you may remember, I went on a bit of a rant - about, of all things, why having two spaces in between sentences is better than one space. I said that I thought that when starting a second sentence, we all ought to use two spaces. It adds separation. It adds clarity. It is like taking that extra moment to think before speaking. And so, I said, I was planting my flag and beginning a campaign for two spaces.

To say I got a lot of email about this would be to understate the situation. It almost immediately became one of the subjects than in more than 14 years of doing MNB, generated the most email ... and what was really interesting about it was that it was pretty much 50-50. About half the folks who wrote in agreed with me wholeheartedly, and the other half thought I was totally wrong. Among this latter half was the editor of both "The Big Picture" and "Retail Rules!", who informed me that she'd gone through and changed all the times I used two spaces to one space ... because that's what editors do.

I also got a number of emails that suggested I needed to get a life. Or at least a hobby.

But I got an unexpected business lesson from the readers who wrote in to point out something I had not noticed - that in the text version of this FaceTime commentary, there was always one space between sentences, not two. It seems that despite the fact that I wrote it one way, technology took over and changed it to what it felt was the more efficient use of space. it didn't matter what I wanted, or what I was passionate about. It was technology 1, Content Guy 0 ... and I didn't even know it.

I have to admit that I find this a little bit scary in that way that The Terminator warned us about what happens when technology takes over. But I also found it kind of funny ... it was like I was being chastened by forces over which I had no control to relax and worry about the important stuff. Not one spaces or two.

That's a good business lesson, even a good life lesson. There are things over which we have control, and things over which we have none. Better not to worry about the latter ... it is a waste of time, a waste of energy, and it doesn't really matter. I'll continue to put two spaces between sentences because it makes me feel better about what I'm doing ... but since readers never complained or even noticed, maybe I should rethink my priorities, or at least the object of my outrage.

That's what's on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: