A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shady Characters: essays for punctuation lovers

There is a famous quote attributed to physicist John Wheeler:
Time is what prevents everything from happening at once...
Space is what prevents everything from happening to me!

After reading a cool article on punctuation, I realized something else:


A new blog, Shady Characters: The secret life of punctuation, is publishing a series of well-researched essays tracing the development of various punctuation marks. The first is about the pilcrow (the paragraph symbol which looks like this: ¶), but also includes a great history of the use of punctuation and spacing in written language, showing how primordial versions of commas, periods, and colons began as markers for showing where to pause when reading aloud. It touches on the advent of lowercase letters; it references a typography manifesto; it spans millennia; wheels turn; cogs mesh. For edifying multi-part essays on punctuation, I recommend it.