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Why a space before a punctuation mark?

  1. Sep 29, 2012 #1

    jtbell

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    Some posters here insert a space between the last word of a sentence and the following punctuation mark . Why do they do this ? Is this the common practice in some non-English languages ?

    (I did it deliberately in the paragraph above, so you can see explicitly what I'm asking about.)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2012 #2
    Please provide references of this observation .
     
  4. Sep 29, 2012 #3

    drizzle

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    Maybe to express a moment of ponder !
     
  5. Sep 29, 2012 #4

    Pythagorean

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    Some languages use a word, like Japanese use ka:

    O genki desu ka
    Is like "how are you doing?"
    genki desu
    Is like "doing good"

    So maybe the question mark gets treated the same way as the ka when people translate in their heads.
     
  6. Sep 29, 2012 #5

    Pengwuino

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    I don't know, but the obvious response should be a prompt banning !
     
  7. Sep 29, 2012 #6
    What's punctuation ?
     
  8. Sep 29, 2012 #7

    Evo

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    I noticed that by a new member the other day . Weird .
     
  9. Sep 29, 2012 #8
    Maybe they are taking a moment of silence before they end their sentence !

    What I noticed more common is that many people use .... a lot in their writings....
     
  10. Sep 29, 2012 #9
    Maybe they're masking a URL or e-mail address.
     
  11. Sep 29, 2012 #10

    drizzle

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    ........... It has meaning, don't you know ?

    :biggrin:
     
  12. Sep 29, 2012 #11

    drizzle

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    Haha! This reminds me of a thread posted by Cyrus.... Man, where is that guy ?
     
  13. Sep 29, 2012 #12
    This sentence has a space right before a comma.
     
  14. Sep 29, 2012 #13

    Pengwuino

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    I wonder if jtbell expected an actual, non-insulting response from the PF community .
     
  15. Sep 29, 2012 #14

    AlephZero

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    In French, a space is required before and after many punctuation marks and symbols, e.g. : ; « » ! ?, but not before . and , AFAIK.

    Greek also seems to have spaces around some punctuation marks, but I'm not sure of the "rules".

    Semitic languages don't have any punctuation marks or upper and lower case letters, except where they have been influenced by other languages. The most common form of sentence construction is a long string of run-on sentences separated by "and" (which is written as a syllable prefixed to the first word of a sentence, not as a separate word).

    And FWIW that explains why so many sentences in old translations of the Bible start with "and".
     
  16. Sep 29, 2012 #15

    Borek

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    whoneeedsspacesandpunctuationanyway
     
  17. Sep 29, 2012 #16

    jtbell

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    After I posted, I remembered from my occasional reading of German Usenet newsgroups that they have a word for it: "plenken"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenken

    The German Wikipedia article mentions the French rules explicitly:

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenk

    As I recall, the poster of the message that I saw in the last couple of days that prompted me to ask this, had a username indicating that his native language is probably Arabic. That would fit with what you wrote.
     
  18. Sep 29, 2012 #17

    AlephZero

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    And in Arabic yudntvnnedmstfthvwls
     
  19. Sep 29, 2012 #18

    drizzle

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    :biggrin:

    It's true that there are only three vowels in the Arabic language [ا, ي, و], but they are really sturdy- they contribute to determine the pronunciation of the word. And you can't vocalize most of the Arabic words without them.
     
  20. Sep 29, 2012 #19

    Evo

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    My mother spoke seven languages, one of them arabic. We'd be on a train in France and suddenly she'd started speaking arabic with someone on the train. She also spoke Czechoslovakian. I never knew what or to whom she was speaking. French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Czech, Algerian/arabic.
     
  21. Sep 29, 2012 #20

    drizzle

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    :bugeye:... *thinks Evo's mother was a spy*
     
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