A post from Shady Characters

Win a paperback copy of Shady Characters!

Shady Characters paperback (W. W. Norton., 2014).
Shady Characters paperback (W. W. Norton., 2014).

Here’s your chance to win a copy of the new, all-singing, all-dancing paperback edition of Shady Characters. I have two copies to give away, and I’ll happily post them to the two winners wherever they are in the world. To enter the competition, just do one of the following:

  • leave a comment on this post, making sure to supply a valid email address so that I can contact you in the event that you win, or
  • reply to, retweet, or mark as favourite the tweet announcing this contest, making sure to follow @shadychars so that I can send you a direct message in the event that you win. (Please don’t create multiple accounts or repeatedly reply to the message — Twitter may ban you as a result. One reply is fine!)

I’ll make a list of all unique commenters and tweeters in two weeks’ time and pick two names at random as the winners. The contest will close at noon GMT on Sunday 19th October 2014, so make sure you enter before then. Good luck!

Update: the competition is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

66 comments on “Win a paperback copy of Shady Characters!

  1. Comment posted by Mike Rengel on

    Hi, I’d like to be entered to win a copy of the book. Thanks!

  2. Comment posted by Alex McCartney on

  3. Comment posted by Przemysław on

    Are there many changes in this edition? I love the previous one!

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Prem — the errata from the hardback are fixed, but otherwise the text is the same. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Comment posted by Lorraine Gehring on

    It’s a fascinating book. I tell people about it all the time. But I bet the Facebook crowd will have more entries (sigh).

  5. Comment posted by Eric on

    This would be amazing to win!

  6. Comment posted by Lukas Funk on

    This has been one of the more unusual interests of mine and I’d love to have a physical artefact of it!

  7. Comment posted by sarah cowan on

    I’d love to win this! I have been coveting the hardback version of your book for some time!

  8. Comment posted by Peter on

    This is pretty cool. I’d love to win a copy of this book. Thanks!

  9. Comment posted by Zeissmann on

    Are you seriously giving away free copies‽
    I want one! Really, I do!
    Also: nice cover.

  10. Comment posted by Patrick on

    This would be a cool book to win. I am a big supporter of the Oxford comma. And shady characters are part of good passwords.

  11. Comment posted by David on

    What a great giveaway! I’d love to win a copy of your book.

  12. Comment posted by Fernando on

    The book sounds great, so I hope I win!

  13. Comment posted by Alexandre on

    Wish have it in paper. Thanks

  14. Comment posted by Katie Barnett on

    Pretty please? I’d love to be able to pass this around the office to some fellow typography nerds!

  15. Comment posted by sonny wong on

    Look forward every time I am on fB, to learn all the secret lives of these markings…..

  16. Comment posted by Andrew on

    I have been wishing for a copy of this fascinating book.

  17. Comment posted by Jeremy Wickins on

    It would be extremely nice to win a copy, though it would be one thing off my Christmas present list this year!

  18. Comment posted by C M Fletcher on

    Who wouldn’t want to win this witty and winsome volume? Where would we be without pilcrows, manicules, asterisks and (blunt) daggers? May the best subscriber win!

  19. Comment posted by James on

    I love reading your blog, and geeking out about typographic trivia with my friends. It’d be great to have a copy in our bookcase!

  20. Comment posted by Eric Sadoyama on

    I’d love a copy.

  21. Comment posted by Deborah HH on

    I am delighted by your success, and wish you the best.

  22. Comment posted by Rondina on

    I’d love to have another one. I’d mail it to the woman/friend in my profession that posted a comment about a how a change in the use of commas was useless information. (Article in NYT.) She WRITES for a living!

  23. Comment posted by Phillip Patriakeas on

    I won one of your previous contests, am I still eligible to enter this one? (Just in case I am, I’ve favorited the tweet already, and this comment has my email address too. =) )

  24. Comment posted by Adam S on

    My mother and I love discussing the posts on this website and would love to go through this book together!

  25. Comment posted by Regis Kuckaertz on


  26. Comment posted by Justen on

    Hopeful to win a copy of the book! Looks interesting! :D

  27. Comment posted by David Lloyd on

    I’d love a copy as I was a hand compositor in the printing trade for many years. When i did my apprenticeship it was they hot type and ems and ens era and I have been in interested in symbols, fonts, and typography since then.

  28. Comment posted by Colin on

    I once wrote a poem, back in my (younger, more painfully earnest, less self-aware) poetry-writing days, that took the percontation point as its central metaphor. I’m pretty sure the poem stunk, and I stopped pretending I was any good at poetry not long after, but my love for the weird punctuation cast-offs of linguistic and typography history remains, strong as ever.

  29. Comment posted by Susan Schoch on

    Your blog so often provides me with new and fascinating nuggets of information. I look forward to a real education within the pages of Shady Characters. Winning might embolden me to risk more than a period.

  30. Comment posted by Ginny Tym on

    It would be magic to win a copy – love your blog and website, and having the book to read and browse through would cheer me up no end! Thank you – and good luck with sales!

  31. Comment posted by ncnyrk on

    I bought my favorite lexicographer a copy for Christmas, but she has failed to share it with me, so I’d love my own copy!

  32. Comment posted by Julia on

    I’ve only discovered your blog in the last few months but I’m already hooked! I’d love to win a free copy of your book, but I’m sure it will make its way into my house one or another.

  33. Comment posted by Saadat on

    Big fan of your blog, and would love to have a copy of your book. :-)

  34. Comment posted by Hillel on

    ☞This guy wants a more portable copy. Congrats on the new edition!

  35. Comment posted by michelle banks on

    Hi, i’ve entered x fingers crossed x

  36. Comment posted by Sandra Lane on

    I had no idea what a Pilcrow was until I read this book!~#/?

  37. Comment posted by elaine dale on

    would love to win a copy

  38. Comment posted by Forsberg on

    ; )

  39. Comment posted by iain maciver on


  40. Comment posted by LEE HARDY on

    I would love the chance to win this book.

  41. Comment posted by Solo Owl on

    ±¶»¿×ǁ !

  42. Comment posted by Stevie on

    I’d like to have this book always handy. may I enter too please.

  43. Comment posted by Lyla on

    Would love a copy of this book

  44. Comment posted by Helen West on

    Looks great! Peculiar and unusual. Perfect!

  45. Comment posted by Vadim Sikora on

    Fantastic book I’d like to have in my collection.

  46. Comment posted by Djordje on

    One way or another, this book will be a nice addition to the collection.

  47. Comment posted by Rob Sterlini on

    Would love to add this gorgeous book to my type literature collection.

  48. Comment posted by pamela green on

    Fab Title. Must have book for everyone, after I win mine of course.

  49. Comment posted by Lucy on

    Yes please!

  50. Comment posted by Trung on

    Read through three chapters during a random afternoon at the house of a friend who owns this book and, of course, I would love nothing more than to own a copy for myself.

  51. Comment posted by Azamat Kodzoev on

    Th@nk you for the opportunity!

  52. Comment posted by jüwe on

    Like the jacket!

  53. Comment posted by Karen Richards on

    Sounds fascinating. Would love a copy.

  54. Comment posted by Terry on

    I just found your blog and I like it. I’m nerdy enough to like the content, and cool enough to appreciate the layout. Uncluttered, well presented, easy on the eye content is so rare on the internet.
    I would like to win a book, so I figured I need a strategy.
    Strategy 1: come up with something that might impress a typography nerd. Result = fail.
    Strategy 2: come up with something that might impress a generic nerd. Result = see below list of recent posts with count of comments (at the time I accessed the page):
    Win a paperback copy of Shady Characters! 49
    It’s National Punctuation Day! 2
    Pilcrows and poker chips: an interview with Jim Ford 6
    Miscellany № 54: Facebook doesn’t get satire. Let’s help it out. 4
    Miscellany № 53: Dinner ampersand drinks 2
    Miscellany № 52: Eric Gill gets handsy 15
    Miscellany № 51: a new-old-stock irony mark 8
    Miscellany № 50: interrobangs in space! 3
    Quasiquotes: too good to post only once 0
    Miscellany № 49: introducing the quasiquote 37
    Conclusion: quasiquotes are popular, but free books are more popular.
    (And yes I did notice that it’s a random draw, so I don’t expect to be rewarded for my semi-cleverness).
    Thank you for your ampersand articles which are just what I was looking for.

  55. Comment posted by John B on

    I’ve been following along the blog for some time, but I want to win the chance to read your work in print form too!

  56. Comment posted by Kerry Lethbridge on

    This book looks fabulous

  57. Comment posted by Kate Phillips on

    This looks an excellent book replete with fascinating info.

  58. Comment posted by Sheri Darby on

    This looks a really good book

  59. Comment posted by Faye Cochrane on

    would love to win a copy! Yes, yes please!! ?

  60. Comment posted by Flavia on

    Ready to win!

  61. Comment posted by sam fernley on

    This would be a fab read.

  62. Comment posted by sam henderson on


  63. Comment posted by Michelle Wild on

    Every home should have one of these and I haven’t. Well not a new up-to-date one anyway.

Comments are closed.