The following article, translated into French, was originally published in the April 2013 issue of Hiatus, la revue. Francis Ramel, Hiatus’ editor-in-chief, contacted me some time back to ask if I might be interested in writing an article about the “minimum” of punctuation, to match one of the themes of the April issue. The word count was suitably minimal — only 3,000 characters, or around 500 words — so I did my best to compress some of the subjects familiar to Shady Characters readers into a short article on the subject. Francis arranged for the article to be translated into French for the magazine, but it seemed a shame to leave the English version unpublished. I hope you enjoy reading this little diversion from Shady Characters’ day-to-day business as much as I did writing it!