Talk:Word divider

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Typography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Typography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the importance scale.

Romans, not Greeks[edit]

It was the Romans, not the Greeks, who used interpuncts.

I augmented the history a bit.



"Today Chinese and Japanese are the main scripts consistently written without punctuation to separate words." I believe Thai (which is certainly a major language) also lacks marks between words, but an expert on Thai should decide. There might be other Southeast Asian languages that do that--Laotian? Mcswell (talk) 01:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


According to Daniels&Bright's _The World's Writing Systems_, Ethiopic is a better term than Amharic. Amharic and Geez are written with the same script (originally used for Ge'ez).

It isn't clear if Ethiopic always (since 400 AD) had interword separation, or if that's something that appeared more recently.


Well, _The World's Writing Systems_, edited by Daniels & Bright (and a fine book!) implies that Phoenician at one point used slashes and dots and that Hebrew and Aramaic did; plus Aramaic also used spaces.

There's a picture in Daniels & Bright of a 440 BCE manuscript in Hebrew that clearly shows spaces between the words.


I've often heard that Charlemagne was mostly responsible for the introduction and use of the space (punctuation) in European languages, although I don't have direct confirmation of this. Something that might be looked into, as the article needs expanding at the end. --G Gordon Worley III 14:05, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I once heard someone say, "Theoretically there are no spaces in Thai, but I prefer to believe that they're there [in handwriting], because it's easier to read that way." —Tamfang 05:39, 21 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thai, and, I believe, Khmer, are special cases with regard to spaces: if my understanding is correct, spaces are used to indicate divisions between phrases, and not sentences. Omniglot says: "There are no spaces between words, instead spaces in a Thai text indicate the end of a clause or sentence." has: "There is no space or any kind of separator between words, so all the words in a sentence form one long block of letters. The only division, a space, occurs between sentences or phrases." I'm going to go ahead and add a mention of this to the article, but further citations would be welcome. --babbage 09:55, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

arab influence?[edit]

In „A History of Reading“ (Reaktion: London 2003, S. 162, see Google-Books) Steven Roger Fischer writes, that the word-seperation by blanks has been introduced because arab language was using it (translation from greek, without blank, to arab with blank, to latin with blank). In the article just some Irish influence is mentioned. --Kommerz (talk) 15:05, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

< wbr /> causing unintended line breaks[edit]

Just in case <wbr/> (and our template {{wbr}}) causes unintended and unexpected line-breaks for someone, using (only) &zwsp; might be a solution. See Template_talk:R#Line_breaks. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 14:09, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Significant doubt concerning historical claims about Semitic languages[edit]

> As the alphabet spread throughout the ancient world, words were often run together without division, and this practice remains or remained until recently in much of South and Southeast Asia. However, not infrequently in inscriptions a vertical line, and in manuscripts a single (·), double (:), or triple (⫶) interpunct (dot) was used to divide words. This practice was found in Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and continues today with Ethiopic, though there whitespace is gaining ground.

This seems to be claiming that using whitespace as a word separator only started in the early Middle Ages (Carolingian Renaissance). But if you look at pictures of the Dead Sea Scrolls -- of which there are many on Wikipedia -- and remember that it dates to between 100 BC and 100 AD, you'll see that the words are clearly separated by only whitespace. Can an expert on Semitic languages, like Ancient Hebrew, Phoenician or Aramic, check when whitespace was used versus interpuncts? Svennik (talk) 20:58, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]