DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Fonts & Typography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-12-2007, 01:31 AM   #1
Benwiggy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
Posts: 451
Default One word on the last line of the para

I currently work on a magazine with narrow measures on the news pages. Typically, we only get four words to a line.
The paras are justified, and we often get one word on the last line.

1. Is there a typographic term for this word? My editor insists on calling them widows or orphans, depending on time of day, though they are not at the top or bottom of a column.

2. Do they constitute bad practice, typographically? Old school/Brody perspectives equally welcome.
Benwiggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 04:03 AM   #2
dthomsen8
Member
 
dthomsen8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19130
Posts: 2,158
Default Widows and orphans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
I currently work on a magazine with narrow measures on the news pages. Typically, we only get four words to a line.
The paras are justified, and we often get one word on the last line.

1. Is there a typographic term for this word? My editor insists on calling them widows or orphans, depending on time of day, though they are not at the top or bottom of a column.

2. Do they constitute bad practice, typographically? Old school/Brody perspectives equally welcome.
For a normal typewritten or word processing page, I think the orphans are single lines at the bottom of a page when the paragraph continues onto the next page. Widows are single lines at the end of a paragraph which spill over to the top of another page. Or maybe it is the other way around. I cannot say if they are bad practice in printed matter.
dthomsen8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 04:18 AM   #3
Benwiggy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
Posts: 451
Default

Widows and orphans are definitely bad practice - but my point is whether one word at the end of a paragraph, which is neither a widow nor an orphan, is bad practice.
Benwiggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 06:23 AM   #4
Michael Rowley
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ipswich (the one in England)
Posts: 5,105
Default

Ben:

Quote:
my point is whether one word at the end of a paragraph, which is neither a widow nor an orphan, is bad practice
The general thing one reads is that it is not good practice; but, on the other hand, such rules are not intended for extremely short measures, such as the typical newspaper column-width.

   
__________________
Michael
Michael Rowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

First, a widow is a single word at the end of any paragraph, not only those at the top or bottom of the page or column.

Second, fine typography is generally not a factor in newspaper composition (if it were, the designer of your rag would have made sure to have wider columns!)

Third, the argument against widows is that having too many of them can disrupt the orderly pattern of the page.

Finally, the late Geoffrey Dowding, in Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type, makes the point that widows are preferable to most of the trickery commonly used to avoid them (expanding or contracting word spaces for several lines before, say).

I would say the same thing about hyphens, btw.

In any event, newspapers hardly count when it comes to this level of fussiness. I am usually glad when I do not see a fake paragraph interrupting a sentence because someone impatiently just pressed return to force the line down!


   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 08:11 AM   #6
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
Widows and orphans are definitely bad practice - but my point is whether one word at the end of a paragraph, which is neither a widow nor an orphan, is bad practice.
Nope. See my other comment.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2007, 11:39 PM   #7
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default

Quote:
...a single word at the end of any paragraph...
Dave Saunders calls them runts. <g> And he wrote a script that gets rid of them in InDesign.

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 12:10 AM   #8
Mike
Staff
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Llanwrtyd Wells
Posts: 1,450
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
Dave Saunders calls them runts. <g> And he wrote a script that gets rid of them in InDesign.

mxh
Is it readily available?

   
__________________
Mike

www.welshframing.com
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 05:25 AM   #9
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
Dave Saunders calls them runts. <g> And he wrote a script that gets rid of them in InDesign.
What does the script do?

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
Shane Stanley
Staff
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
What does the script do?
I can't remember it, but I suspect it just makes the space before the last word non-breaking, leaving the paragraph composer to sort out the details.

Shane
Shane Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Word spacing in Word 2007 Michael Rowley Software 5 08-07-2007 10:15 AM
Line Spacing in NVU? HTMLAlan Web Design 2 06-24-2007 02:29 AM
Interactive: Word 2003 to Word 2007 command reference guide Michael Rowley Software 2 06-22-2007 10:36 AM
How many errors can you get in one para? LoisWakeman On Language & Literature 12 03-04-2006 11:19 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.