If you look at the difference between something like quick brown fox and quickbrownfox, you might reasonably describe the first as being "spaced". While the second is, perhaps "unspaced" or "spaceless" ... doesn't sound too unreasonable... not great. You might think that had to do with spacing between the characters instead of the words (so more like "kerning").

But if you look at the difference between:


...and the lazy dog, then is there a word for distinguishing the first case? "newlined"? "linebreaked"? "linebroken"?

Web programmers might say the second case comes from a distinction between the words being in "block-level elements" vs. "non block-level elements". So the first case would be "<div>ved" and the second "<span>ned" (?). Maybe they'd get it, but I doubt most people would know what that meant.

The fallback here is compounds like words-separated-by-spaces vs words-without-spacing vs words-separated-by-newlines. I'm just fishing for some possible terminology that could do it in fewer words, if it exists (from typography, or elsewhere?)

  • Erm... is the word you're looking for formatted text? Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 2:07
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Well, words separated by spaces and words separated by newlines are both "formatted". Though "formatted/formatting" is interesting related terminology...funny that I don't usually use such words to describe what I might call "layout" (due to thinking more of "file formats" or "formatting your hard drive...") Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 2:25
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    In case it is of any use, spaces, tabs, and newlines are collectively referred to as whitespace.
    – IQAndreas
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


I would call the words in the first case "stacked." Some popular periodicals consider repetitions of the leftmost or rightmost words in two consecutive lines to be objectionable, as in:

Retail sales of beans in Louisiana have gone through the roof in recent weeks, whereas in Pennsylvania retail markets report a bean glut, owing to changes in the gastronomical habits of many Philadelphians.

In that case, the repetition of "Retail"/"retail" along the left margin constitutes a stack, and an editor may be encouraged to alter the wording of the sentence in order to avoid it.

Similarly, with regard to index formatting styles, the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003) refers (at 18.25) to the format in which each subentry under a main index entry appears on its own line as "indented style (also known as stacked style)." Chicago illustrates this style with an example that I will try to replicate below by inserting the bracketed word "[INDENT]" where Chicago leaves a tab space (since I don't know how to make EL&U's text window reproduce tab indents):

coordinate systems

[INDENT]Cartesian, 14

[INDENT]distance within, 154–55

[INDENT]time dilation and. 108–14

In this case, the subentries form a stack, much as "the," "lazy," and "dog" do in your example.

  • Stacked is a useful word, thanks for that one... interesting if that's a commonly known word to typographers/editors. Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 1:24
  • You can find discussions of stacking at sheltonography.com/resources/Articles/Typesetting_Guide.pdf (dealing with stacking of identical words and of hyphens) and at interpretationbydesign.com/?p=1138 (addressing stacking of single letters). Both are critical of stacking (for different reasons), but their criticisms don't directly apply to stacking different single words in a column, one to a row. A Google search of 'typography' + 'stacking' should turn up many additional discussions of the term.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 16:31

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