I’ll be on holiday this coming week, enjoying the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris with my wife Leigh (as she put it when she suggested the trip: “lycra is optional, the Louvre is not”), but here are a few punctuational links to tide you over until I’m back.
- Are you a Mancunian? The owners of an as-yet hypothetical pub called The Pilcrow are documenting their quest to build a new pub in Manchester up using local expertise and elbow grease. Follow them at their web site or on Twitter @thepilcrowpub.
- Gunther Schmidt of lexikaliker.de sent me a link to an excellent article about Japanese punctuation. Posted at Tofugu, an educational website about Japanese language, it talks about (conceptually) familiar marks like the comma (、) and full stop (。) before moving on to more esoteric marks such as the wave dash (〜) and the unexpectedly rehabilitated interpunct (・). Koichi, the author of the piece, explains that the unusual spacing is down to the “monospaced” nature of Japanese characters, where each one occupies a roughly square area of approximately equal size, so that marks of punctuation are promoted to have the same width as letters in order to go with the typographic flow. The article is a great introduction to the subject, and I urge you to read it!
- In the words of Mark Berman of The Washington Post: “Minnesota’s great umlaut war is over (also, Minnesota was having an umlaut war)”. Berman reports on a (quite reasonable) backlash from the inhabitants of the town of Lindström who objected to the loss of their umlaut in a recent road sign upgrade. Squint, and it’s almost a story about a diaeresis.
- Readers with access to an academic library should take a look at Claire Bourne’s article “Dramatic Pilcrows”, published in the December 2014 issue of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. It’s a challenging but rewarding read.