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I intend to make this document freely available to the public. However before I add a prominent link to it ... be grateful if interested parties here could have a look over it and offer any suggestions for additions or changes.

Excellent guide. Perhaps not so relevant for scientific writers, but I would mention that exclamation marks are not to be used so lightly in English as in German, and never more than one. You may want to mention the billion/trillion Milliarde/Billion trap, too, and their common abbreviations. Germans like to use o.g. a lot, too.

Be sure to post a link to the final version!
Regards,
Dave
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In section 1.5 on the ellipsis I am missing some hint on when to place space around it.

To be honest, I don't know the standard practice myself, or even if there is one. Anyone?

Spacing before an ellipsis is a matter of taste there is no universal rule about it.
If you do set a space before an ellipsis, make it a non-breaking space. If the ellipsis is followed by a punctuation mark, the space between should be non-breaking. But if it is in the middle of a sentence and not followed by punctuation, make the following space a regular word space so the line can break there if need be.

Michael West
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
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e.g. and i.e. I think the statement "e.g. and i.e. ... usual in U.S. English, but not wrong to omit it.

Well, the reasoning goes that the abbreviations are there to replace "for example" and "that is"; if the full terms were used, a comma would be necessary.

I'm not sure that's true in all cases, e.g.:
* where it introduces a displayed list
* where another punctuation mark can be used
I was unaware that Fowler is now permitting it, and haven't yet encountered any professionally produced publications where the comma is omitted. Still, I'll make note of it in my document, perhaps with the caveat that it's more of a British practice.

The Australian Government Publishing Service style manual says that a comma "should not" be used after those abbreviations.

The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide says that whereas the following comma "used to be considered necessary," it no longer is. This guide also notes that the abbreviations are "increasingly" printed without the periods/full stops ("eg","ie") or with only single full stops ("ie.", eg.").
Anyway, speaking as a professional editor of technical publications, I think the use of those abbreviations in expository prose should be discouraged by writing guides. Their use should be restricted to exceptional circumstances, such as charts, figures, tables, and footnotes, where compression may be regarded as more important than comprehension.
Too many people get them wrong and I'm not referring to punctuation, but to meaning. Many people who think they know how to use them correctly do not know. Editors spend too much time querying authors as to their intended meaning only to learn that it was the opposite of what they wrote.
Michael West
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In Britain, for example, the em-dash is often replaced by an en-dash with a space on either side.

I have noticed this sometimes, but never in a professionally typeset publication. Can you think of a major newspaper or ... perhaps a popular style guide which advocates this usage? If so I'll mention this variation as well in my article.

There's no universal rule about it.
In professional publishing, dashes (also called "rules") come in different lengths, and are surrounded with space in varying amounts according to typeface
design and the publication designer's personal
preferences. Go to a bookstore and wander around,
picking up books from different publishers at random. You will see the variations. Some prefer a shorter dash set between spaces (more common in British and Australian publishing, but not exclusively so), and some prefer longer dashes that almost "touch" the words before and after them.
I pick up one book on my table, Patrick White: Letters, from Random House Australia, and I find the shorter, spaced dash in use. Likewise Salman Rushdie's
Midnight's Children, published by Vintage UK.
"Harpers Magazine" and "New Scientist" use a long dash set unspaced, whereas "The Atlantic Monthly" uses a shorter dash with just a bit of space on either side.
Unless you're a type expert, your best bet is to use the default metrics provided by the font vendor. Whether you use an unspaced em dash or a spaced en dash for sentence punctuation is simply a matter of taste, not correctness.

Michael West
(
Of course, "respectively" does not actually translate "beziehungsweise". "Respectively" literally means "je nachdem" while "bzw." most often translates into a simple "or".

I think of it more as "or as the case may be", the essential feature being that "A und B sind C bzw D" means "A is C but not D; B is D but not C".
In English, "cats and dogs are black or white" can mean that both black and white cats occur (and ditto dogs), while "cats and dogs are Persian and Saluki respectively" rules out the possibility of a Saluki cat.
Andy Taylor (Editor, Austrian Philatelic Society)
For Austrian philately http://www.kitzbuhel.demon.co.uk/austamps
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I don't see much English written by Germans, but see a lot written byDutch people. I wonder if the Germans share the Dutch habit of transferringcommon Dutch abbreviations into English, producing incomprehensible abbreviations ...

We try to be creative and introduce new expressions into other languages... Not only into English, also into Spanish. The expression "un momento dado" is proof that we succeed (at least in Catalunya).

MH
Like French, for example ?

Je ne sais pas.
The typical troubles that occur are that double-spaces at the end of a line appear in printed justified text as a single-space right indent; and that stand-alone punctuation can appear on a line of its own - I have even seen it print on a page of its own!

Andy Taylor (Editor, Austrian Philatelic Society)
For Austrian philately http://www.kitzbuhel.demon.co.uk/austamps
decided to write a short guide to English writing directed specifically to German speakers. It addresses common translation problems such ... be grateful if interested parties here could have a look over it and offer any suggestions for additions or changes.

Excellent idea, especially for those who have edit technical Germish. Do you have a section that explains the common Germish features so an English speakre can more easily know what they meant?
I'll email you a MS WORD document with the common problems people have with English. Feel free to use what you need.
Tsu Dho Nimh

When businesses invoke the "protection of consumers," it's a lot like politicians invoking morality and children - grab your wallet and/or your kid and run for your life.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Excellent idea, especially for those who have edit technical Germish. Do you have a section that explains the common Germish features so an English speakre can more easily know what they meant?

What a delightful word, Germish. I am going to try it out on all my German in-laws :-)

Louisa
Essex, England, Europe
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