A separator is a character or two contiguous characters formed according to the following rules.

  1. The space character is a separator. Anywhere a space is used as a separator, more than one space may be used.
  2. The comma and semicolon characters, immediately followed by a space, are separators that may be used anywhere the separator space is used. They can be used to improve program readability.
  3. The period character, followed by a space, is a separator. It must be used only to indicate the end of a sentence or where required by the ACUCOBOL-GT syntax.
  4. The left and right parentheses are separators. They must be used in balanced pairs.
  5. The quotation mark character is a separator. An opening quotation mark must be immediately preceded by a space or left parenthesis; a closing quotation mark must be immediately followed by one of the separators space, comma, semicolon, period, or right parenthesis. Apostrophes may be substituted for quotation marks in balanced pairs.
  6. The colon character is a separator that may be used only when required by the ACUCOBOL-GT syntax.
  7. Spaces may immediately precede or follow any separator unless they would be enclosed by matching quotation marks. In this case, the spaces would be treated as part of the nonnumeric literal.