A post from Shady Characters

It’s publication day (part 2)!

Shady Characters in Waterstones, Edinburgh. Picture by the author.
Shady Characters in Waterstones, Edinburgh. Picture by the author.

Shady Characters: Ampersands, Interrobangs and Other Typographical Curiosities

is now available in the UK. (I checked for myself at my local Waterstones and collected some documentary evidence, left. The recent excision of the Waterstone[’]s apostrophe still galls me.) You can order a hardback or digital copy from Amazon.co.uk, The Book Depository, Penguin, or Waterstones.

Thanks this time round go to Josephine Greywoode and Kate Watson at Particular Books, and cover designer Matthew Young, for all their hard work in bringing the UK edition to fruition!

As if a competition to win one of two copies of the UK edition isn’t enough, you can now also chance your hand at a copy of the American edition over at Constance Hale’s blog, Sin & Syntax. Good luck!

8 comments on “It’s publication day (part 2)!

  1. Comment posted by korhomme on

    I got the American edition from amazon uk. It’s a very enjoyable read, full of arcana and delightful digressions; I didn’t know, for example, that tax-dodging goes back as far as the library at Alexandria.

    A question: apart from the cover, are there any differences between the American and the British editions? A change to British English, for example.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi korhomme — thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. Other than the jackets, bindings and publisher info, the two editions are identical.

    2. Comment posted by korhomme on

      Thanks! Let me add, the typography is wonderful, unusual to see such a well-produced book these days. Which reminds me: I have the 1993 version of Gill’s “Typography”; it’s all black type. In the originals, were the ¶s rubricated?

    3. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      I also have the 1993 edition, and it’s a shadow of its former self. I read through the first edition at the National Library of Scotland (complete with Hague & Gill’s signatures at the back!), and, as I recall, it was printed in black ink only.

    4. Comment posted by korhomme on


  2. Comment posted by Skipper on

    Just because Waterstone’s wish to parade their ignorance, doesn’t mean we have to follow, does it?

  3. Comment posted by Annie Morgan on

    Just in case you missed it, there’s a nice paragraph at the end of the “NB” back page of the Times Literary supplement, Sept.20 issue.

    I’m sure your friends have already told you and sent you copies, but just in case they haven’t…

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Annie — thanks for catching that! I hadn’t heard about that, but I’ll have to pick up a copy this weekend.

Leave a comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. If you prefer to contact me privately, please see the Contact page.

Leave a blank line for a new paragraph. You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>. Learn how your com­ment data is pro­cessed.