Consistent punctuation oddities

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Apr 29 15:49:29 UTC 2008

At 4/29/2008 04:08 PM, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>My French students put spaces before commas and periods.  I wonder if
>French word-processors treat the space as non-breaking?

I knew I'd seen this somewhere!  I could not remember where, and
wondered whether it was in 18th-century texts.  But now I do remember
-- some documents from French members of an ISO Information
Technology standards committee I was on circa 1980.  And perhaps also
from Japanese members?

Perhaps the French students type a non-breaking space there?  (Very
unlikely, I'm sure.)  What do your students do when re-flowing lines
causes such a comma or period to appear at the beginning of the
line?  Do you ever see these at the beginning of a line?

(Reminds me of hyphenation as practised by some Italian typists -- or
books too?  Words are broken at the last position of the line,
independent of syllabification.  (This definitely was the
18th-century practice.)



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