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   » » Wiki: Space (punctuation)
Tag Wiki 'Space (punctuation)'.

In , a space ( ) is a blank area that , , (in ) and other written or printed (characters). Conventions for spacing vary among languages, and in some languages the spacing rules are complex.

uses spaces of varying length for specific purposes. The , on the other hand, can accommodate only a limited number of keys. Most typewriters have only one width of space, obtained by pressing the . Following widespread acceptance of the typewriter, some spacing and other typewriter conventions, which were based on the typewriter's mechanical limitations, have influenced professional other designers of printed works.

representation of text eliminates all mechanical and physical limitations in any sufficiently advanced character encoding environment (such as ), where spaces of various widths, styles, or language characteristics (different space characters) are indicated with unique . Whitespace characters include spaces of various width, including all those that professional typesetters employ.

Use in natural languages

Between words
Modern English uses a space to separate words, but not all languages follow this practice. Spaces were not used to separate words in until roughly 600–800 CE. and , while they didn't use spacing, used word-dividers partly to compensate in clarity for the . Saenger 2000, p. 10: ... the Semitic languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Syriac), when written without vowels, were virtually always written with word separation in antiquity and continued to be so transcribed into modern times, ... The earliest Greek script also used interpuncts to divide words, rather than spacing, although this practice was soon displaced by the scriptura continua. The earliest signs of spacing between words appears in the Latin alphabet, where it was used extremely rarely in some manuscripts and then altogether forgotten. However, spacing was then reinvented into language through Irish and Anglo-Saxon scribes, and then with the creation of the Carolingian minuscule by Alcuin of York, where it originated and then spread to the rest of world, including modern Arabic and Hebrew. Indeed, the actions of these Irish and Anglo-Saxon scribes marked the dramatic shift for reading between antiquity and the modern period. Spacing would become standard in Italy and France, and then Byzantium by the end of the 16th century; then entering into the Slavic languages in in the 17th century, and only in modern times entering modern .Saenger, Paul. Space between words: The origins of silent reading. Stanford University Press, 1997, 9-14. Traditionally, all languages have no spaces: modern and Japanese (except when written with little or no ) do not; on the other hand, modern uses spaces.

texts use either an -like or a colon-like punctuation mark to separate words. There are two characters dedicated for this: and .

Between sentences
Languages with a Latin-derived alphabet have used various methods of sentence spacing since the advent of movable type in the 15th century.

  • One space (some times called , q.v.). This is a common convention in most countries that use the ISO basic Latin alphabet for published and final written work, as well as digital (World Wide Web) media.
(2019). 9780520246881, University of California Press.
usually do not differentiate between single and multiple spaces in source code when displaying text, unless text is given a "white-space" CSS attribute. Without this being set, collapsing strings of spaces to a single space allows HTML source code to be spaced in a more machine-readable way, at the expense of control over spacing of the rendered page.
  • Double space ( ). It is sometimes claimed that this convention stems from the use of the on . However, instructions to use more spacing between sentences than words date back centuries, and two spaces on a typewriter was the closest approximation to typesetters' previous rules aimed at improving readability. Wider spacing continued to be used by both typesetters and typists until the Second World War, after which typesetters gradually transitioned to word spacing between sentences in published print, while typists continued the practice of using two spaces.
(2019). 9780321127303, Peachpit Press.
(2019). 9780881792065, Hartley & Marks.
(1997). 9780471306368, Wiley.
(2019). 9780470222683, Jossey-Bass. .
(2019). 9780160818127, The U.S. Government Printing Office. .
(2019). 9780873522977, Modern Language Association. .
(2019). 9780873522977, University of Chicago Press. .
(2019). 9781557987907, American Psychological Association. .
(2019). 9780701636470, Wiley Australia, The Commonwealth Government of Australia Printing Office. .
  • One widened space, typically one-and-a-third to slightly less than twice as wide as a word space. This spacing was sometimes used in typesetting before the 19th century. It has also been used in other non-typewriter typesetting systems such as the cited in and the system. Modern computer-based digital fonts can adjust the spacing after terminal punctuation as well, creating a space slightly wider than a standard word space.
    (2019). 9780321127303, Peachpit Press.
    (2019). 9780805088311, Holt Paperbacks.
    (2019). 9780470222683, Jossey-Bass.
  • No space. According to , "young people" today using digital media "are now accustomed to following a full stop with a lower-case letter and no space".
    (2019). 9781592400874, Gotham Books.
    Also see .

There has been some controversy regarding the proper amount of sentence spacing in typeset material. The Elements of Typographic Style states that only a single word space is required for sentence spacing."

(2019). 9780881792065, Hartley & Marks.
Psychological studies suggest "readers benefit from having two spaces after periods."

Unit symbols and numbers
The International System of Units (SI) prescribes inserting a space between a number and a unit of measurement (being regarded as a multiplication sign) and between units in compound units, but never between a prefix and a base unit..

5.0 cm not or
45 kg not or
not or
20 kNm not or
π/2 rad not or
50 % not (Note: % is not an SI unit, and many do not follow this recommendation; note that is used as adjective, e.g. to express concentration as in 50% acetic acid)

The only exceptions to this rule is the traditional symbolic notation of : degree (e.g., 30°), minute of arc (e.g., 22′), and second of arc (e.g., 8″).

The SI also prescribes the use of whenever thousands separators are used. Both a point or a comma are reserved as decimal markers.

1 000 000 000 000 (thin space) or 1000000 not 1,000,000 or 1.000.000
1 000 000 000 000 (regular space and significantly wider) should not be used

See also

Further reading

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