in reply to Escaping white space with qw//

what about assigning your values to an variable sepereated by a comma and then spliting it into an array?
my $values="one,two,three,four and a half,five"; my @array=split(/,/, $values);
more than one way and all that.

Update: as dga pointed out, this would run into the same problem you are having now should a comma ever make it's way into your data.

I think if you have a good idea of what your data will look like then use whatever you feel comfortable with as your delimiter.