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26 votes

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

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 ...
Au101's user avatar
  • 1,841
25 votes

"Filepath" or "file path"?

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 ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 6,844
24 votes

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

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 ...
Stu W's user avatar
  • 7,174
13 votes
Accepted

Why is "a lot" written as two words even though "ahead" is written as one word?

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 ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 135k
9 votes

"Once in a while" OR "Once in awhile"?

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 ...
RedCaio's user avatar
  • 369
8 votes

Should spaces be used between "<" or ">" and numbers or letters?

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 ...
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 538
7 votes

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

When you end a sentence with a link In modern usage, especially online, one time where it is appropriate to put a space is when you are ending the sentence with a link https://ux.stackexchange.com/...
aslum's user avatar
  • 2,204
7 votes
Accepted

"Webpages" or "Web Pages"?

Here is an Ngram chart of "web page" (blue line) versus "web pages" (red line) versus "webpage" (green line) versus "webpages" (yellow line) for the period 1980–...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
5 votes
Accepted

Why is the noun "blacklist" (written without a space) in the dictionary, but not "whitelist"?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fifth edition (2011), whitelist is spelled closed up both as a noun and as a verb, just as blacklist is. But that is merely one ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
5 votes

Which is correct, "dataset" or "data set"?

The APA Style Blog comes down firmly on the data set spelling. Although dataset is understandable, two words still seems to be preferred even in academic settings.
Quantum7's user avatar
  • 183
5 votes

Word for using extra line breaks to improve readability

Colometric or Colometrized Definition of colometry : measurement or division (as of a manuscript or a rhythmic utterance) by cola (Merriam-Webster, emphasis added) Fun fact: I just learned ...
browly's user avatar
  • 378
5 votes
Accepted

When ending clause in a comma, which is followed by a colon, should there be a space in-between

You would omit the comma. That said, you're not ending the sentence in your example with a comma. That sentence ends with a period: the period after "etc." Also, as it relates to the example,...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
4 votes

Do I use timeslot or time slot or time-slot?

It seems that time slot is currently most common, but that doesn’t prevent you from adhering to more (or less) traditional approaches. Here is the google n-gram of the variants in use since 1940. And ...
TransferOrbit's user avatar
4 votes

Which is correct, "dataset" or "data set"?

As new tech terms appear and evolve, they tend to be spelled separately at first, and over time become more closely joined, either with a hyphen or no space at all. This evolution is occurring with ...
KMSuarez's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Correct spelling for the abbreviation "FPS" (frames per second)

As various commenters have noted above, the choices of whether to capitalize or lowercase rpm/RPM and whether to close up or include a letter space between the number and the unit of measure are style ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
3 votes

Should there be a space between name initials?

No spaces, no periods, as mentioned on the CMOS website: Chicago style for initials that are used as a name is to take out the periods and close up the letters: BJ. Please see CMOS 8.4.
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.6k
3 votes

How is a misuse of punctuation spacing perceived by native British and American people?

Having come across this before, I'd barely notice it in an otherwise well-written email, especially someone whose name suggested that they weren't a native writer of English (yours may or may not do ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 21.8k
3 votes

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

In sixth grade I was told the proper way to finish a sentence was with 2 spaces after a period and the majority of people think it looks cleaner as well.
Zoe's user avatar
  • 79
3 votes

Can we use the wording "We can not only ... but also ..."?

"Can not" is the original form, "cannot" and "can't" being contractions; all three are acceptable when referring to someone's inability to do something. However, in the sentence you quote, "not" ...
BoldBen's user avatar
  • 17.2k
3 votes

Is double spacing after a period now a thing?

Until the early twentieth century, guidelines were numerous and often contradictory. Typesetters often used the large ‘em-quad’ space (traditionally the width of a capital ‘M’) after a period, and the ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
3 votes

The space or space (means universe)?

If you mean all the universe, the correct form is "space", without an article. If you say "the space", you are referring to a specific, limited space, such as the volume in your ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
2 votes

Why is “cannot” spelled as one word?

Disclaimer @RegDwight's answer, which I upvoted, is very well-written–as always–and unbiased; it allows visitors to make up their own minds by showing both sides of the argument. Is there a ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.5k
2 votes

Percent or per cent

Nowadays 'percent' is more preferable than 'per cent', considering the many different currencies with their units of measurements. E.g 'per cent' may be perceived as an actual unit against a cent.
Kia Tongia's user avatar
2 votes

"Leader board" vs. "leaderboard"

A board by any other name: It's really no different than blackboard. Inevitably, "leaderboard" will become increasingly more formally accepted. If in doubt: If in doubt, I'd hyphenate the two words:...
Clarus Dignus's user avatar
2 votes

Chatroom or chat room?

Both are all right. Time ago we used to write some nouns + nouns separated and then with a hyphen in between, but currently we tend to write them together.
Harry Wood's user avatar
2 votes

Is it ever correct to write "doorlight" as one word?

I don't think doorlight is a word in itself with a specific defintion. It's just a compound of the words door and light. But to answer your question, I'd suppose a doorlight suggests a light that is ...
Itolet's user avatar
  • 216
2 votes

Why is "a lot" written as two words even though "ahead" is written as one word?

The flip answer is that (per the OED) starting in the 1600s, ahead became a nautical term meaning forward, as in full speed ahead, and a head couldn't be used because that was already the term for the ...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.7k
2 votes

How is a misuse of punctuation spacing perceived by native British and American people?

I think that most of the English speakers would not notice to much. Since most of our written communication is typed, if they did notice they most likely would be wondering why the spell check did ...
John S's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes

Should spaces be used between "<" or ">" and numbers or letters?

To supplement the AMA's recommendations (noted in Polygnome's answer), I offer the following style guide recommendations. From The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition (2010): 12.15 Basic ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k

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