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27

Forward slashes have been around forever (well, at least since Ancient Rome), but they were just called "slash". Backslashes, on the other hand, are a fairly recent invention. How ASCII Got its Backslash reports that it was added to the ASCII character set in 1961 for the Algol programming language. The term rose in popularity in the early 80's, probably ...


23

You certainly do not want to use full spaces within strings of initials. Indeed, you quite possibly do not want to use any spaces at all. It depends whether we are talking about text generated under the tyranny of the typewriter or text that is to be professionally typeset. With a typewriter, you should not use any spaces, but when typeset, smaller spaces ...


20

People have mentioned in the comments that, yes, in the past, a small (non-breaking) space was inserted before an ! and a ? These must never start a new line. The space is also a small space, very clearly much more than the space between letters of a word, but much less than a sentence-ending space. See, for example, this: And: From an 1899 edition of ...


20

The difference is that "everytime" is not a word, and "every time" means all occurrences: "Every time I go to the beach, I get a sunburn." You may be thinking of the difference between "everyday" and "every day." The former is an adjective that can mean either daily or ordinary and common, and the latter is an adverb meaning each day: "I don't have any ...


19

Nowadays, the word is nowadays. You can find it in any dictionary (unlike now days). The better ones will also have the etymology: late 14c., contracted from Middle English nou adayes (mid-14c.), from now + adayes "during the day," with adverbial genitive (see day). As you can see, it used to be two words — seven centuries ago. The Corpus of ...


17

Here you're using however as an adverb, meaning no matter how or in whatever way. Since you said that your intention is "no matter how you analyze the data, the output would remain poor", however is the correct choice. When one uses how ever, "ever" usually takes the role of an intensifier -- it increases the strength of the statement being made with "how". ...


16

According to dictionary.com, it should be two separate words "time slot". This useful article on compound words offers the following advice: Many of them are found in the dictionary and are not subject to our interpretation, our judgment, or our whim. Start with your dictionary before applying any other guidelines. I would be inclined to follow that ...


15

The Chicago Manual of Style recommends a nonbreakable space before and after an ellipsis when the intention is to trail off a sentence. 13.52 Ellipses with other punctuation. Placement of the other punctuation depends on whether the omission precedes or follows the mark; when the omission precedes it, a nonbreakable space should be used between the ...


13

No, they aren’t doing the same thing. It's because these a- words are mostly ancient prepositional phrases in origin that eventually got squished together — but into adverbs, not quantifiers or adjectives. Consider aback, abroad, above, afoot, across, afar, ahead, ajar, akin, alike, aloud, amid, apart, atop, away. That a- portion was an unstressed ...


13

This is a technical term, used in discussing computer data storage. Both forms, filepath and file path, are used, but which one is used is often dependent on context. While I can’t find any specific reference for usage in context, my experience has been that filepath, as an unhyphenated compound word, is generally used when discussing it as an entity (...


12

Both percent and per cent are acceptable. The ODO's AmE entry carries the following note: Origin: mid 16th century: from per + cent, perhaps an abbreviation of pseudo-Latin per centum Both spellings, percent and per cent, are acceptable, but consistency should be maintained. Percent is more common in US usage; per cent is more common in British ...


11

Here is a general rule of thumb: if you mean "a different [noun]", then it is more appropriate to use "an other"; if you mean "an additional [noun]", then it is more appropriate to use "another". So in your example you should use "But it won't transform it to an other format." Also take a look at Brett Reynolds' answer. It is good from a syntactical point ...


8

Just to add an Australian perspective to this one... The Commonwealth Government Style Guide (Sixth Ed.) says: The spaced form, per cent, is recommended: it is the one most commonly used in Australia; it is given priority by both the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries. It does go on to add ( in support of the earlier answer): However, percent ...


8

Both are acceptable, but cannot is now more common. OED has this much to say about cannot: (ˈkænət) the ordinary modern way of writing can not: see CAN v. Notwithstanding, in some situations ambiguity may arise if you write can not, and the difference might not be a minor one. Compare: I cannot make love to you. (Something is stopping me from it, be ...


8

In the unix world it was just called a slash. The backslash was the escape character. When MS-DOS came around and used the wrong slash to delimit subdirectories, programmers referred to that as slash also; the context determined whether it was one or the other. It was not until non-technical people started using URLs that technical writers felt the need to ...


8

No, there would be no space. When writing abbreviations that represent multiple words and that have periods appear within them, we don't put spaces after the internal periods. Examples: a.k.a. - also known as d.b.a. - doing business as e.t.a. - estimated time of arrival


8

The correct phrase is "Once in a while", as two separate words. As "awhile" is an adverb, it wouldn't make sense to say "Once in awhile". See @V0ight's comment: Replace 'awhile' with any other adverb, like 'rarely' or 'seldom' and you'll see it makes no sense. 'Once in rarely'? 'Once in seldom'?


7

The general rule is that, in a capitalized hyphenated compound word, both words are normally capitalized if they are of approximately equal significance. In "great-uncle," "uncle" is the more significant part; "great-" is simply modifying "uncle" after all. So sign yourself "Great-Uncle Don." Or, dodge the hyphenation entirely, and sign yourself "...


7

In my opinion, just because "an other" is "vanishingly rare", that doesn't make its usage "unacceptable". In my situation, which is advising (via a letter) a candidate for an employment position who has not been chosen, it doesn't seem appropriate for me to tell him that "another" candidate has been selected, but it does seem appropriate for me to tell him ...


7

You have your choice. The white space goes either between paragraphs, or else in front of them, but probably not both. Version 1, common on the Internet: I am not fully sure if this is the right place for this question but I am guessing has something to do with structure and usage so hopefully it is alright here. Apologies if not. I am getting confused ...


7

You can use either of U+202F NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE or just plain U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE, but you certainly should not let it risk being line-broken. I’m not so sure that the thinness matters half so much as the no-break property. You do not want to let the figures get orphaned without their units.


7

Anyway is an example of a discourse marker, one of whose functions is "to indicate what speakers think about what they are saying or what others have said". (Swan, Practical English Usage, p138). Swan groups anyway together with anyhow, at any rate, and in any case, and describes their function as follows: These four expressions are used (mostly ...


7

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) states regarding any one: "The two-word form any one is not the same as the one-word form anyone and the two forms cannot be used interchangeably. Any one means ‘any single (person or thing)’, as in: not more than twelve new members are admitted in any one year." Meanwhile, the one word form anyone is defined ...


7

The AMA Manual of Style says: Thin spaces should be used before and after the following mathematical symbols: ±, =, <, >, ≤, ≥, +, −, ÷, ×, ·, ≈, ∼, ∩, ∫, Π, Σ, and |. a ± b a = b a + b a − b a ÷ b a × b a · b a > b a < b Symbols are set close to numbers, superscripts and subscripts, and parentheses, brackets, and braces. (Highlight mine) ...


6

I wonder if it could be a US x UK issue. I have always learnt and used 'any more' (two words) in all contexts, and come from a British family unit, attending a British School. So we would have: John doesn't live here any more (UK) John doesn't live here anymore (US)


6

sub- is a derivational prefix, which means that it's generally thought of as attaching below the word level. Adding it to an existing word creates a new word. Compare words like subtotal or subspace. Would you say either of these is more than one word? The difference here is that subtotal and subspace are established as lexical items, while subaccount is ...


6

No, I don’t think so. That would be like spelling et cetera as *etcetera without a space. It is not like ensemble either, which was one word to start with. The OED has lots of French phrases of the form en XXX that have been borrowed into English, and I don’t see a single one of them that collapses its spacing: en attendant en avant en axe en barbette en ...


6

As a matter of modern technical writing style, 500 gigabytes can be written as 500 GB or 500GB. As a matter of grammar, fusing '500' and 'GB' into '500GB' makes as much sense to me as fusing '3' and 'apples' into '3apples'. I always separate numbers and the things that they count with a space, unless the things that are counted are represented by a symbol (...


6

My English teacher at school was adamant that on to was always two words, a position which is acknowledged by ODO: The preposition onto written as one word (instead of on to) is recorded from the early 18th century and has been widely used ever since, but is still not wholly accepted as part of standard British English (unlike into, for example). Many ...


5

As a technical writer I need to edit content written by engineers. for some reason they have a tendency to use spaces before and after slashes, and I religiously remove them. I have started rethinking my inflexibility in this matter as I believe there are times that spaces make the content more user friendly. A case in point is either/or listings of terms ...


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