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Thread: Use of question mark - space or no space?

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Posted: 2023-04-30 21:47

Just one little question that I couldn't find a definitive answer on the interwebs:

Do you use a space in front of a question mark?

For example: Do you send "QSL ?" or "QSL?"

73, Martin

Posted: 2023-05-01 20:14
I am by no means an authority, but I do not send a space before a questionmark and I think that is how most people do it.


Posted: 2023-05-02 00:48
When you type out the received msg in a wordprocessor It works just like punctuation: , . ; ? and ! They have to be typed out without a space separation, because otherwise you have the chance that a new line starts with , . ; ?

Hence no space between end of word and punctuation.

Posted: 2023-05-02 07:53
Hence no space between end of word and punctuation.

Are you saying it's always the case that the code you send should always adhere to the rules of written English? That 'hence' seems to make that case.

My impression is that punctuation marks work somewhat differently in CW compared to written language, take for instance the use of =. There are also the prosigns, arguably a kind of punctuation. What about them?

I'm not saying you are wrong in your conclusion, just that appealing to conventions used when typing into a word processor seems, at least to me, a bit odd.

When comparing spoken an written language, there are discrepancies all the time that we ignore when reading aloud. You don't always pause when there's a comma, you know to pronounce "police car" as a single word although it's written as two, and so on.

As very different rules apply when encoding the same message in text as compared to speech, it isn't a priori clear at all that good code should always follow rules of writing.

Posted: 2023-05-02 13:10
No space. Because "?" on its own, means: "repeat, please".

Posted: 2023-05-04 21:09
There are no definite rules to follow, just custom and the goal to communicate. The custom is that frequent units like "QSL?" are keyed as a "word" -- no space. Most ops also key "cuagn" rather than the syntactically correct "cu agn". No punishment threatens the one way or the other :-) Just make sure that you produce a reasonably pleasant flow of CW.

Posted: 2023-05-05 09:33
Thank you very much for all the helpful replies!

73 Martin

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