[OS X TeX] overview of what TeX is producing

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Mar 2 10:07:33 EST 2005

Le 2 mars 05, à 15:20, Doug Fields a écrit :

> I read a command in the "not so short introduction to LaTeX 2e" which 
> would allow you to tell it that the preceding terminal character 
> should not be treated as an end of sentence. I don't recall it off the 
> top of my head, but I remember it being used in an example such as 
> having a period after an acronym (such as BASIC. and the sentence 
> continues).

Lamport's LaTeX manual mentions two cases when TeX's determination of 
the end of sentence (namely, a period not following an uppercase 
letter) should be modified by the user:

- A period following a lowercase letter in an abbreviation. In this 
case, use "\ " as in

	Tinker et al.\ made the double play.

- A period following an uppercase letter and ending a sentence. In this 
case, use "\@" as in

	The Romans wrote I + II = III\@. Really!

There are two extensions to these rules:

- If a sentence-ending period is followed by a right parenthesis or 
right quote (single or double), then the extra space goes after the 
parenthesis or quote. Example from Lamport's book (also illustrating 
the rule, with which I don't agree, of enclosing terminal punctuation):

	``Beans (lima, etc.)\ have vitamin B\@.''

- Exactly the same rules as for a period (.) are applied to a question 
mark (?), an exclamation point (!) and a colon (:).

So in your example ("BASIC." inside a sentence) I think no special 
precaution should be taken, TeX won't consider the period as ending a 

All the above, of course, applies to the (La)TeX default for the 
American English language, and may be superseded by packages adapting 
this default to any specific language. For example, the babel package 
with the french option suppresses the extra space after a period, makes 
":", ";", "?" and "!" active so that an extra space is added before 
them (some purists arguing that the space before ":" should be a thin 
one IIRC), etc.

Hope this helps,


--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list