end-of-line breaking of words
Thread poster: xxxLia Fail
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 18, 2004

Example: advertising.

Miriam Webster:

Main Entry: ad·ver·tise
Pronunciation: 'ad-v&r-"tIz
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -tised; -tis·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French advertiss-, stem of advertir
transitive senses
1 : to make something known to : NOTIFY
2 a : to make publicly and generally known b : to announce publicly especially by a printed notice or a broadcast c : to call public attention to especially by emphasizing desirable qualities so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize : PROMOTE
intransitive senses : to issue or sponsor advertising
- ad·ver·tis·er noun

Should I break 'advertising' into 'advert' + hyphen + 'ing'?

I am awre that word breaks are based on syllables, but sometimes our pronunciation interferes, e.g. how about 'describe'?

If anyone could give me references for a webiste that gives full and complete details for breaking words, I would be very grateful.

Finally, how can I set this option in Word 2000, so that I have an even right-hand margin BUT with with word breaks (i.e. a ragged margin) as opposed to 'flush' or 'justified'on the basis of spacing?


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United States
Local time: 11:58
French to English
+ ...
Dictionaries are very helpful Aug 18, 2004

Hi Ailish

Dictionaries are the best source for word breaks. (like you mentioned above ad/ver/tize)

You should not substitute advert for advertising, IMHO.

Try using "justify" text which is an icon on MS Word next to "Align Left" and "Align Right" on the formatting toolbar.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2004-08-18 22:15]

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:58
German to English
end-of-line breaking of words Aug 18, 2004

Hi Ailish,
Here are two discussions of your subject. I haven't analyzed them yet, but you might find these two general statements interesting.

English words are hyphenated phonetically. When pronunciation changes hyphenation changes accordingly and accurately parallel the pronunciation, e.g. bi-o-log-ic-al, bi-ol-o-gist, bi-o-nom-ics and bi-on-o-my or ab-sorp-ti-om-e-ter and chro-nom-e-ter but cen-ti-me-ter and hec-to-me-ter.


Publishers and printers have long been confused about the word-division of English, some favouring the root-based method and others the phonetic principle. Since the computer took charge of composition, the quality of hyphenation has deteriorated. Some word-breaks surprise and disturb the reader.


[Edited at 2004-08-18 23:11]

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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
automatic hyphenation Aug 18, 2004

Hi Ailish

Go to TOOLS, then LANGUAGES...you will find hyphenation. You can tell it to hyphenate automatically so if you have a ragged right margin, it should do it automatically.

Also, suggest you read search for hyphenation under help.

Advertizing...can be; ad-ver-tising so, it can be: adver-tising OR ad-vertising...

de-scribe: too short for hyphenation IMO

There are rules for hyphenation, I have forgotten most of them except that it is phonetic!

They are HERE: http://www.xs4all.nl/~talo/talo/e_rules.html

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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Related question on hyphenation Aug 19, 2004

I'm somewhat surprised to see a question about hyphenation in left-justified text - in German, this is a strict nono (at least for trained typesetters). I always thought this rule also exists in (American/British) English? Can anyone comfirm this? (In German, hyphenation in left-justified text s a giveway for non-expert work, but that's a different threat, I guess).

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Sheilann  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Spanish to English
word division Aug 19, 2004

I always believed that you couldn't split before "ing", but according to this you can.

From the Collins Gem Dictionary of Spelling and Word Division
The purpose of the written word is to communicate, and written matter should be easy to read. However, the splitting of words at the end of a line can impede the flow.
The main rule in English word division is, that the pronunciation of the first part of the word be recognisable before the eye reaches the second part in the succeeding line. Thus, the word coincidence must be split co-inci-dence to ensure that it is not confused with coin-age. All other considerations are secondary to this rule.
♦ In general, words are spilt into syllables, e.g. com-bine, walk-ing, vis-u-alis-ation, etc. In compound words it is suitable to split the words, e.g. lifetime,
♦ Etymology should also be taken into consideration, e.g. geri-atrics.
♦ It is suitable to divide a word after a prefix, e.g. anti-bacterial, not antibacterial,
or before a suffix, e.g. count-able.
♦ Pronunciation should also be considered, hence, photo-graph, but photogra-pher, and not photo-grapher.
♦ Never split an English word between two letters that form one sound, i.e. –ea-, -th-, -sh-, etc. Hence read-able not re-adable, worth-less not worthless, wash-ing, not was-hing.
♦ Never split a word so that the second part is unpronounceable, e.g. not probab-le but prob-able.
♦ A split which gives only two letters at the beginning of the second line is never permissible, and one which gives only two letters at the end of the first line is undesirable. (Exceptions are prefixes, such as re-, di-, etc.)
♦ Never split a word such that the last line of a paragraph consists only of the second part of the word.
♦ Some words cannot be split, for example, sources. Sour-ces misleads the reader into thinking the word has to do with sour. Other words simply cannot be pronounced if split: brou-ght, thoug-ht etc.
Many programs have built-in word division functions. It is most important that you use English word division rules for English text. If you divide English words according to Swedish rules the result will be at best comical, and at worst unreadable.
A number of dictionaries are available, either as purely spelling and word division dictionaries, or normal English dictionaries, in which word division is indicated in each entry. Consult these if in doubt.

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Catherine Norton
Local time: 10:58
French to English
+ ...
Automation Aug 19, 2004

I agree with Jane. Have your computer do this automatically. It defeats the whole purpose of using a computer if one starts hyphenating each word individually as had to be done before computers.

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Local time: 19:58
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
What about when you're proofing? Aug 19, 2004

Catherine Norton wrote:

I agree with Jane. Have your computer do this automatically. It defeats the whole purpose of using a computer if one starts hyphenating each word individually as had to be done before computers.

Some of my customers (direct clients) have me proof their typeset versions. Unfortunately, not a lot of German typesetters have a solid command of English, so some of the hyphenation is a bit - well, wierd.

I like to use Webster's to check hyphenation in cases like that.

My two cents


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