San Francisco/Los Angeles - must they be on one line?

Houellebecq1

Senior Member
English - United States
Hello,

Is it permissible to divide a city name such as San Francisco or Los Angeles? That is, does San Francisco have to remain on one line, or can I have San at the end of one line and place Francisco at the beginning of the next one? Thanks in advance.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Hello,

    Is it permissible to divide a city name such as San Francisco or Los Angeles? That is, does San Francisco have to remain on one line, or can I have San at the end of one line and place Francisco at the beginning of the next one? Thanks in advance.
    I don't know a definitive answer - but I think I would personally find it strange to read them separated.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't know a definitive answer - but I think I would personally find it strange to read them separated.
    I agree with Timpeac. Though I don't know of any rules forbidding their separation, I would avoid separating "Los" from "Angeles" on two different lines.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm intrigued:). Both San Francisco and Los Angeles consist of two distinct words: I can't see any reason not to separate them.

    I went hunting in Google Books, and the first two examples I checked had instances of San ... Francisco and Los ... Angeles on different lines.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'm intrigued:). Both San Francisco and Los Angeles consist of two distinct words: I can't see any reason not to separate them.

    I went hunting in Google Books, and the first two examples I checked had instances of San ... Francisco and Los ... Angeles on different lines.
    That's interesting. I never would have guessed that you'd run across the separated names so quickly.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'm intrigued:). Both San Francisco and Los Angeles consist of two distinct words: I can't see any reason not to separate them.

    I went hunting in Google Books, and the first two examples I checked had instances of San ... Francisco and Los ... Angeles on different lines.
    I agree with Loob, I see no reason to keep them on the same line.
    I can't think of any solid reason for not separating them. I suppose my reluctance to do this has more to do with aesthetics than anything else. If I were typing using a justified or right-aligned format, I suppose that I'd split them. I generally use a left-aligned format, so I'm certainly not going to split them up to save three letters' space on one line.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Can I ask a supplementary, then, owlman (I'm interested:))? Is it just names of Spanish origin you wouldn't split, or would you keep to the same practice with eg New Orleans or Kansas City?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'm trying to picture a scenario where you had control of the placement in this modern age. Back when we used typewriters this kind of question arose all the time, but if you are typing in Microsoft Word, for example, I don't see how you could force Word to keep the two words in "Los Angeles" together. Word wrap happens. :)

    Can you give us a little background on this question? Are you typesetting a brochure or something?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Can I ask a supplementary, then, owlman (I'm interested:))? Is it just names of Spanish origin you wouldn't split, or would you keep to the same practice with eg New Orleans or Kansas City?
    Thanks for asking, Loob. I do think I'd try to keep these names together. At some point it could easily become a judgment call. Would the line look ridiculously short compared to the line that followed? I'd likely split some long name such as "Ten Thousand Oaks" or "Howie in the Hills". Believe it or not, there is a "Howie in the Hills" near Orlando, FL.
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I'm trying to picture a scenario where you had control of the placement in this modern age. Back when we used typewriters this kind of question arose all the time, but if you are typing in Microsoft Word, for example, I don't see how you could force Word to keep the two words in "Los Angeles" together. Word wrap happens. :)
    [....]
    It's possible to use keyboard strokes to insert a non-breaking space that will prevent two words from being separated (Wiki article). For some reason I have wanted to do that in the past, though I have forgotten why. I am certain it wasn't regarding city names, which I would allow to split, as others have said.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    What you ask is a matter of style regarding presentation. As such, it depends upon the rules of whoever signs your paycheck or grades your papers.

    No effort is made to bind those words in general U.S. newspaper usage, although some newspapers might have decided to impose their own rules in that regard.
     

    Houellebecq1

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Thanks for all the responses. I was confused because I read in a proofreading book that titles and names (e.g. Mrs. Smith) should not be separated. San is a title, Francisco, a name. I'm still a little unsure. I think I'll avoid separating those words to be safe. More background information: it's for a business letter.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top