Discussion:
French -- "space before a question mark" rule ! ?
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Hen Hanna
2017-04-30 23:33:47 UTC
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i'd never even noticed this befor.

checking one book i have (from Hachette),
it's not uniform.

it seems....

10% of the time ther's no space before the !

20% of the time there's no space befor the ?


________________________


french "space before a question mark"


What i'm referring to is why many spanish and french people put a space between their last word and a ...


A space is required in French before a question mark (and other punctuation marks) and it is inserted automatically when using the French settings in a word processor. Perhaps he just needs to change his language preferences ...


French space before question mark --
The first explanation offered by many readers is that a space is required before some punctuation marks in French. At the end of a sentence, French writers put a space before finishing with a question mark or an exclamation point.
Christian Weisgerber
2017-05-01 15:15:50 UTC
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Subject: French -- "space before a question mark" rule ! ?
i'd never even noticed this befor.
Typography and orthography shade into each other. Different languages
(and sometimes countries) have different conventions. In French,
it is indeed common to insert a space before ! ? ; :

Another example is the way quotation marks are handled. Wikipedia
has a long article on that topic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark
--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber ***@mips.inka.de
Pierre Jelenc
2017-05-01 18:31:00 UTC
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Post by Hen Hanna
What i'm referring to is why many spanish and french people put a space
between their last word and a ...
It's absolutely infuriating, and I never do it. It's especially obnoxious
when it leads to line breaks that cause the ? or ! to be the first
character in a line. And most especially obnoxious when it's in a big fat
headline in a news website.

Pierre
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Pierre Jelenc
The Gigometer www.gigometer.com
The NYC Beer Guide www.nycbeer.org
Hen Hanna
2017-05-01 19:17:23 UTC
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Post by Pierre Jelenc
Post by Hen Hanna
What i'm referring to is why many spanish and french people put a space
between their last word and a ...
It's absolutely infuriating, and I never do it. It's especially obnoxious
when it leads to line breaks that cause the ? or ! to be the first
character in a line. And most especially obnoxious when it's in a big fat
headline in a news website.
Pierre
--
Pierre Jelenc
A space before the Q-mark often looks better, don't you agree ?

I vaguely remember using ~ as [non-breaking space], many years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_breaking_rules_in_East_Asian_languages
Peter T. Daniels
2017-05-01 20:23:18 UTC
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Post by Pierre Jelenc
Post by Hen Hanna
What i'm referring to is why many spanish and french people put a space
between their last word and a ...
It's absolutely infuriating, and I never do it. It's especially obnoxious
when it leads to line breaks that cause the ? or ! to be the first
character in a line. And most especially obnoxious when it's in a big fat
headline in a news website.
When French (France) is chosen as the document language in MSWord, Word uses a
nonbreaking space before ? and !, and also to separate the guillemets from the
quoted material.
Pierre Jelenc
2017-05-02 03:02:47 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
When French (France) is chosen as the document language in MSWord, Word uses a
nonbreaking space before ? and !, and also to separate the guillemets from the
quoted material.
A non-breaking thin space (U+202F or  ) I'll accept grudgingly, but
there is no logical reason for a space. And it's ugly. The Canadians, the
Belgians, and the Swiss do not use it, at least on the web.

Pierre
--
Pierre Jelenc
The Gigometer www.gigometer.com
The NYC Beer Guide www.nycbeer.org
Arnaud Fournet
2017-05-02 07:19:33 UTC
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Post by Pierre Jelenc
Post by Peter T. Daniels
When French (France) is chosen as the document language in MSWord, Word uses a
nonbreaking space before ? and !, and also to separate the guillemets from the
quoted material.
Winword does not automatically insert a non-breaking space before ? ! ; : it has to be inserted manually.
In old books, there was often a space before , as well.
Final . is the only sign that's normally preceded by an empty space, even in old books.
A.
Post by Pierre Jelenc
A non-breaking thin space (U+202F or  ) I'll accept grudgingly, but
there is no logical reason for a space. And it's ugly. The Canadians, the
Belgians, and the Swiss do not use it, at least on the web.
I personally find this space quite clear and elegant.
Punctuation is not part of the word.
A.
Ruud Harmsen
2017-05-02 07:26:28 UTC
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Tue, 2 May 2017 00:19:33 -0700 (PDT): Arnaud Fournet
Post by Arnaud Fournet
it has to be inserted manually.
If by Winword you mean Microsoft Word for Microsoft Windows:
Yes it does and no, you don't have to.
That is, not if you correctly set the language and make sure that
appropriate Autocorrect options are active.
--
Ruud Harmsen, http://rudhar.com
Arnaud Fournet
2017-05-02 07:33:47 UTC
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Post by Ruud Harmsen
Tue, 2 May 2017 00:19:33 -0700 (PDT): Arnaud Fournet
Post by Arnaud Fournet
it has to be inserted manually.
Yes it does and no, you don't have to.
That is, not if you correctly set the language and make sure that
appropriate Autocorrect options are active.
hm!? possibly so,
I hate autocorrect so it's inactive on my computer.
A.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-05-02 12:55:04 UTC
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Post by Arnaud Fournet
Post by Peter T. Daniels
When French (France) is chosen as the document language in MSWord, Word uses a
nonbreaking space before ? and !, and also to separate the guillemets from the
quoted material.
Winword does not automatically insert a non-breaking space before ? ! ; : it has to be inserted manually.
Maybe that was the case back when it called itself "Winword," but I have received
files for editing (either in French or in English but where the author forgot
or didn't know to change the document's Language setting) in which the space
is automatically inserted, the quotation marks appear as guillemets, etc.
Post by Arnaud Fournet
In old books, there was often a space before , as well.
Final . is the only sign that's normally preceded by an empty space, even in old books.
Arnaud Fournet
2017-05-03 05:15:50 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Arnaud Fournet
Post by Peter T. Daniels
When French (France) is chosen as the document language in MSWord, Word uses a
nonbreaking space before ? and !, and also to separate the guillemets from the
quoted material.
Winword does not automatically insert a non-breaking space before ? ! ; : it has to be inserted manually.
Maybe that was the case back when it called itself "Winword," but I have received
files for editing (either in French or in English but where the author forgot
or didn't know to change the document's Language setting) in which the space
is automatically inserted, the quotation marks appear as guillemets, etc.
Post by Arnaud Fournet
In old books, there was often a space before , as well.
Final . is the only sign that's normally preceded by an empty space, even in old books.
As I wrote yesterday, I have deactivated auto-correction, because I hate it when my computer starts emending what I'm typing.
A.
Wasabi
2017-05-08 20:13:00 UTC
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Post by Hen Hanna
french "space before a question mark"
It used to be the norm in English too, certainly up to 100 years ago, to
put a space before the punctuation marks ; : ? ! (but not before a comma or
full stop). I'm not sure when this changed.
Hen Hanna
2017-05-08 21:22:08 UTC
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Post by Wasabi
Post by Hen Hanna
french "space before a question mark"
It used to be the norm in English too, certainly up to 100 years ago, to
put a space before the punctuation marks ; : ? ! (but not before a comma or
full stop). I'm not sure when this changed.
hey, that's a great info!

If anyone finds a real example for [?] in Google.Books, pls let me know.

I can't find many examples of [?] in the following book ;
for [;] there is always a space before it .


The History of English Dramatic Poetry to the Time of Shakespeare: ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=YS4OAAAAMAAJ
John Payne Collier - 1831
Wasabi
2017-05-09 00:03:52 UTC
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Post by Hen Hanna
Post by Wasabi
Post by Hen Hanna
french "space before a question mark"
It used to be the norm in English too, certainly up to 100 years ago,
to put a space before the punctuation marks ; : ? ! (but not before a
comma or full stop). I'm not sure when this changed.
hey, that's a great info!
If anyone finds a real example for [?] in Google.Books, pls let me know.
This example shows all the marks I mentioned above, it is from a Collins
edition of Shakespeare's Works I own which was published in England
c.1914.

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Some of the spaces are quite narrow but are visibly distinct from the
lack of spaces before the commas, em-dashes and full stops.

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