Rules about numbers at the ends of lines - not allowed?
Thread poster: Amanda Wilson

Amanda Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
May 15, 2014

Hello!

I've been doing some proofreading in PDF for an agency recently and they often do a first draft of changes. One of the notes they make is 'Pas de chiffre en fin de ligne dans texte en drapo'. Unfortunately I cannot work out what they mean by the context and I am unsure what en drapo is (couldn't find a translation either...).

Does anyone know anything about some of the proofreading rules for publishing? The books I have are not being very helpful and short of doing the SfEP (no time!) I'm stuck!

Can anyone help? I really don't want to have to ask them directly...

Many thanks in advance!
Amanda


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
"drapo">drapeau May 15, 2014

Perhaps this will help:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(typographie)


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Thanks for the heads-up on "en drapo", Rudolf :). May 15, 2014

Amanda, I can imagine it may be poor practice to leave a number at the end of a sentence etc., as the following punctuation mark could be confusing. If the sentence ends with "... 15.", that could make readers think there are some decimals missing; or it could be misread as a section number or some such reference.

But here you're talking about not having one at the end of any line? I hadn't heard of that. The nearest the Oxford Style Guide gets to it is when it says that "the last line of any typeset paragraph should not be only a syllable or numerals alone and should contain at least five characters...". That's a long way from what your client is requesting.


 

Amanda Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 15, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Amanda, I can imagine it may be poor practice to leave a number at the end of a sentence etc., as the following punctuation mark could be confusing. If the sentence ends with "... 15.", that could make readers think there are some decimals missing; or it could be misread as a section number or some such reference.

But here you're talking about not having one at the end of any line? I hadn't heard of that. The nearest the Oxford Style Guide gets to it is when it says that "the last line of any typeset paragraph should not be only a syllable or numerals alone and should contain at least five characters...". That's a long way from what your client is requesting.


Thanks Sheila, I also found that according to the OSG you shouldn't have a number at the beginning of a line/sentence.....but nothing about no numbers at the end of a line in a column of text......perhaps it's a French proofreading rule?? I might have to ask them after allicon_frown.gif

Thanks Rudolph for confirming that drapo does indeed mean drapeau!icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member
English to French
Horribleness level May 16, 2014

Amanda Wilson wrote:
...One of the notes they make is 'Pas de chiffre en fin de ligne dans texte en drapo'. Unfortunately I cannot work out what they mean by the context and I am unsure what en drapo is (couldn't find a translation either...).

A number is often followed by a unit, in which case number and unit should be linked together with a non-breaking space (Ctrl+Shift+space bar or Alt0160), if only for legibility reasons. This might be the main motive as to why this rule exists.

Example:
Raise the schmoll by 8
mm, then bend it down.

This is horrible and must be rectified in a proof.

However, I don't see anything really awful there:
For more information, see Chapter 8
and have a careful look at Section 10.


Philippe

[Edited at 2014-05-16 09:40 GMT]


 

Amanda Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 16, 2014

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Amanda Wilson wrote:
...One of the notes they make is 'Pas de chiffre en fin de ligne dans texte en drapo'. Unfortunately I cannot work out what they mean by the context and I am unsure what en drapo is (couldn't find a translation either...).

A number is often followed by a unit, in which case number and unit should be linked together with a non-breaking space (Ctrl+Shift+space bar or Alt0160), if only for legibility reasons. This might be the main motive as to why this rule exists.

Example:
Raise the schmoll by 8
mm, then bend it down.

This is horrible and must be rectified in a proof.

However, I don't see anything really awful there:
For more information, see Chapter 8
and have a careful look at Section 10.


Philippe

[Edited at 2014-05-16 09:40 GMT]


Thanks Philippe, totally agree, don't make a break if it disrupts the ease of reading! Have to say, not sure what the agency would say about your chapter example, and I agree, no problem!


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Non-breaking space - yes. May 16, 2014

Philippe Etienne wrote:
A number is often followed by a unit, in which case number and unit should be linked together with a non-breaking space (Ctrl+Shift+space bar or Alt0160), if only for legibility reasons. This might be the main motive as to why this rule exists.

Example:
Raise the schmoll by 8
mm, then bend it down.

This is horrible and must be rectified in a proof.

However, I don't see anything really awful there:
For more information, see Chapter 8
and have a careful look at Section 10.

Philippe
I was about to give a similar reply and then saw that Philippe has already done it. I would add this: it is correct to put a (non-breaking) space between a number and the units symbol although it is fairly common to omit the space. Some people would write "raise the schmoll by 8mm", which avoids the problem of "8" ending a line and "mm" starting the next line, but the non-breaking space is correct.
Quote from "Units and Symbols for Electrical and Electronic Engineering" (IEE, 1986): "A space is set between the number and its unit symbol (e.g. 240 V, not 240V)."
I am sure the reason for this it to avoid incorrect reading if the number ends with "1" or "0" or the unit symbol begins with "l" or "O". Also, it is analogous to writing with words: eight millimetres, not eightmillimetres.


 


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