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In Czech typography, some prepositions are not allowed to be at the end of the line, so line break is not allowed between that preposition and the following word.

Are there similar rules in English typography? Are there any situations where a line break is not allowed or discouraged?

Note: I'm not worried about hyphenation, I expect that my typesetting program (LaTeX) will handle that for me.

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There may be some rules that printers use, but I'm not aware of any. If in doubt, consider what makes for easy reading. –  Barrie England May 8 '12 at 14:18
Don’t line break between a number expressed in digits and the noun it applies to. Don’t line break at an abbreviation that has a period at the end of it, or they will think it is the end of the sentence. –  tchrist May 8 '12 at 14:26
@Kris, the first result is this question, the second is “Rules for Breaking Lines in Asian Languages”. The rest deal mostly with hyphenation. –  svick May 8 '12 at 15:42
@Kris, and regarding writers.SE, they don't even have tags for typography or typesetting, so I'm not sure it's suitable. –  svick May 8 '12 at 15:46
@tchrist: Why not post an answer with a link that references your source? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 8 '12 at 17:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In English you can have a line break at any point in a sentence, it is not restricted by nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc. The only restrictions I have come across are the ones pointed out by @Gnawme, the "widows" and "orphans", but those rules are aesthetic and not grammatical.

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Reading this on my phone, the browser put a linebreak between "@" and "Gnawne", which looks wrong. –  Hugo May 9 '12 at 7:25

A concern for typographers in almost any language (typography is a visual art, after all) is avoiding widows and orphans. As this site explains:

A widow is a short line or single word at the end of a paragraph. An orphan is a word or short line at the beginning or end of a column that is separated from the rest of the paragraph. Widows and Orphans create awkward rags, interrupt the reader’s eye and affect readability. They can be avoided by adjusting the type size, leading, measure, wordspacing, letterspacing or by entering manual line breaks.

Not paying attention to this detail might make for awkward, if not erroneous, reading -- imagine if you left a key word in a paragraph a widow, and the page break was such that the widow ended up on a separate page -- but it wouldn't cause grammatical errors in English.

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Incidentally, this is not specific to the English language. A little effort may throw up more relevent info. –  Kris May 8 '12 at 16:07
@Kris My answer begins A concern for typographers in almost any language... –  Gnawme May 8 '12 at 16:09
Which is the reason I suspect it is off-topic on EL&U. In fact, it's not about typography either. –  Kris May 8 '12 at 18:35

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