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What do you call a group of adjacent letters having punctuation except for apostrophes on either side? For example, in this sentence, the groups are Let's, see, the, fireworks:

Let's see the fireworks.

Assuming a word is a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing that consists of one or more morphemes, what I'm asking is different from a word: let, us, see, the, firework.


I'm looking for an English equivalent of a Korean word Madi[1][2] (or Sojeol (小節)[1]) meaning such a letter group. Since there're some words that are not spaced (e.g. pre/postpositions in Korean) in Korean, unlike English, Madi is commonly used as a distinctive term as to Nanmal[1][2] (or Daneo (單語)[1][2]) meaning a word.

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    I would use "word". I suppose if you have a need for more precision in a specific work of analysis one might invent (and clearly define) another term, such as "contiguous character sequence", but there should be no need for this in normal writing. (And most folks here would probably consider "let's" to be a word.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 0:49
  • Are there no specific terms to disambiguate a word into a ‘semantic word’ or a ‘syntactic word in English; or any linguistic terms for it? Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 1:05
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    Perhaps phrase? A word in English plus a preposition, for example? In programming you'd call a contiguous character sequence a string. You may be thinking of something like a phrasal verb, where the two parts produce a unique meaning, e.g., "put on"
    – Xanne
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 1:19
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    It's about ASCII, not English. You can call it anything you like, since there's no linguistic term for it. Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 3:05
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    I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but you could investigate the term 'orthographic word'. 'Word' is ill-defined when it comes to deciding on whether << ink well >> (open compound noun) should be considered one 'word' or two. Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 10:30

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