White Space

The other day, through means and for reasons utterly unknown to me, WordPress wiped out every single paragraph space in one of the pages up there in my header thing.  That meant that the rambling, obsessive tale of my submission efforts was now one impenetrable block of information.  Even I — who actually LIKE the stuff I write up there — found it impossible, after a little while, to go through it and restore the paragraph breaks, so badly did my head hurt from trying to read through the textual equivalent of a granite slab.   

So, today, I want to praise white space.  

White space is the stuff between paragraphs that lets you rest for a minute and think about how much you really like what you’ve just read.  White space is like the friend who speaks clearly and then gives you a minute to say something back — or catch your breath.  Big blocks of text, on the other hand, can feel like the person who assaults you with a story that goes on forever and makes you feel like maybe it would be better just to end your life now rather than wait for the story to do you in.  

White space is particularly important when you’re writing text that’s read almost exclusively on the computer monitor, such as a blog post or an e-mail.  I don’t always do this, but after being trapped in my own block of run-on-forever text, I’m going to pay more attention to it from now on.

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7 thoughts on “White Space

  1. SW–I’ve never heard of either of those things! Thanks for the tip.

    Hello dear C — It was less arduous than it might have otherwise been, because I gave up half-way through!

  2. Danielle — I love the depth of knowledge among the blogging community!

    That’s very astute, Ben — I like thinking about the silence that makes music what it is and can make prose more beautiful than it might otherwise be.

  3. Hmmm. Weird. Did it eventually restore by itself, or did you have to plough through the whole thing, inserting spaces from start to finish? Can’t think of a reason for this, but I wonder if the blog’s theme’s CSS got read incorrectly when the pages were served to your computer.

    That said, I happily agree on the benefits of white space. That’s why I have *lots* of it on my blog 🙂 .

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