A post from Shady Characters

Coming soon: The Pilcrow, part 2

Part 2 of the story of the pilcrow is coming along nicely. Picking up from where part 1 left off, it’ll cover the influence of Christianity on the development of punctuation before moving onto the pilcrow itself. Here’s a somewhat tangential excerpt that I hope doesn’t give too much away:

In 312, on the eve of a battle which would decide the ruler of a united Roman Empire, the presumptive Emperor Constantine was reported to have witnessed a vision of a cross in the sky. If Constantine had been in any doubt as to the import of this symbol, it was accompanied by a helpful explanatory inscription, HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS (“BY THIS SIGN YOU WILL CONQUER” — one might forgive the Almighty for His melodramatic use of capital letters when one recalls that His subjects had not yet developed lower case), and was followed that night by a dream in which God instructed him to march into battle bearing a replica crucifix.

Look out for The Pilcrow, part 2 this weekend!

In other news, Shady Characters gets brief but very welcome mentions from the New Yorker, I Love Typography and the Toronto National Post.

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