Why a space before a punctuation mark?

  • Thread starter jtbell
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  • #1
jtbell
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Main Question or Discussion Point

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.)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Please provide references of this observation .
 
  • #3
drizzle
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Maybe to express a moment of ponder !
 
  • #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.
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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I don't know, but the obvious response should be a prompt banning !
 
  • #6
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What's punctuation ?
 
  • #7
Evo
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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.)
I noticed that by a new member the other day . Weird .
 
  • #8
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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....
 
  • #9
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Maybe they're masking a URL or e-mail address.
 
  • #10
drizzle
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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....


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

:biggrin:
 
  • #11
drizzle
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Haha! This reminds me of a thread posted by Cyrus.... Man, where is that guy ?
 
  • #12
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This sentence has a space right before a comma.
 
  • #13
Pengwuino
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I wonder if jtbell expected an actual, non-insulting response from the PF community .
 
  • #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".
 
  • #15
Borek
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whoneeedsspacesandpunctuationanyway
 
  • #16
jtbell
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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.
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

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).
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.
 
  • #17
AlephZero
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whoneeedsspacesandpunctuationanyway
And in Arabic yudntvnnedmstfthvwls
 
  • #18
drizzle
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And in Arabic y[STRIKE]u[/STRIKE]dntvnn[STRIKE]e[/STRIKE]dmstfthvwls
: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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #20
drizzle
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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.
:bugeye:... *thinks Evo's mother was a spy*
 
  • #21
*thinks evo's mother is awsome cause she speaks german* :D :D !!:approve:

ich liebe deutsch! :D

tbh, i always thought that you write the sentence with the punctuation mark right next to the last word.
 
  • #22
Borek
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She also spoke Czechoslovakian.
:bugeye:

You mean Czech, or Slovak, or both, or she wasn't sure which one she knows?
 
  • #23
jtbell
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Maybe she alternated: first word Czech, second word Slovak, third word Czech, fourth word Slovak...
 
  • #24
Evo
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:bugeye:

You mean Czech, or Slovak, or both, or she wasn't sure which one she knows?
I don't know, it was Czechoslovakia then. It was all Greek to me. :wink:
 

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