Questions about the use of whitespace characters

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31
votes
4answers
38k views

Is it ever correct to have a space before a question or exclamation mark?

In written English (mainly online) I often come across sentences ending with a question or an exclamation mark with a space before it. Is it always just an error or a typo? Or there are cases when it ...
200
votes
15answers
28k views

How many spaces should come after a period/full stop?

In the past — or at least, when I was in elementary school — periods/full stops were followed by two spaces. Lately, it's become more and more common to see just one space. In the modern ...
105
votes
4answers
10k views

Why is “cannot” spelled as one word?

Why is “cannot” spelled as one word whereas other similar constructions such as “do not,” “will not,” “shall not,” “may not” and “must not” are spelled as two words (unless they are contracted as ...
44
votes
10answers
24k views

Is it “alright” or “allright”?

In practice I find both spellings being used. From a logical point of view, "allright" (as in: "all's right — everything is fine") seems correct. However, I recall hearing that "alright" is the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

When is it appropriate to use non-breaking spaces?

I started using non-breaking spaces between a number and a unit of measure (10_ft), and within a name (Dr._John_Smith). I like the "look" of using non-breaking spaces to prevent titles from wrapping, ...
15
votes
6answers
20k views

Should I write “comma/period” or “comma / period”?

I usually put a space before, and after / when indicating alternatives, such as in the following sentence. We review a module / theme per user. Is it correct, or should I re-write the sentence ...
30
votes
1answer
38k views

“Sign up” vs. “signup”

When we have a button on a website for creating an account, should it say "sign up" or "signup"? I see "sign up" in most places, but which is the correct one?
33
votes
7answers
14k views

Which is correct: “Filename”, “File Name” or “FileName”?

Which is correct: "Filename", "File Name" or "FileName"?
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it ever appropriate to use a space before and after an ampersand?

A colleague and I have a difference of opinion. I believe our department should be abbreviated as "L&D." She believes it should be "L & D," which just looks silly to me. I never see spaces ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

“Can not” vs. “cannot” [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning and/or connotation between "can not" and "cannot"? I have read and seen both used interchangeably, but I know people who argue for a slight difference in meaning. ...
12
votes
3answers
22k views

Should there be a space between name initials?

In writing authors' initials in research papers (either in the author by-line or the bibliography), should there be a space between intials? R.P. Feynman R. P. Feynman What's the preferred way ...
6
votes
3answers
353 views

Should thin spaces be used between numerals and units

After starting to use the siunitx package for typesetting units (and the numerals before the units) in LaTeX, I noticed that it typesets a single space between a numeral and a unit (a space that is ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Space before computer storage abbreviations [closed]

Forgive me if this has already been asked, I could not find it via search. My question is this: what is the proper way to append computer storage abbreviations to a number? For example, a 500 ...