In lieu of a post this week, head over to BBC.com’s Culture section to read my article about “The Mysterious Origins of Punctuation” — it’s hot off the presses! Want to chat about it? Post a comment here or over at the related Facebook post. Shady Characters readers will be right at home, and I hope you enjoy it!
A genuine miscellany this week; a grab-bag of punctuational ephemera to chew over at your leisure. First, I would draw your attention to Benjamin Samuel’s forensic, heart-breaking, and hilarious ode to the comma at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. I quote:
As eagle-eyed readers of the @shadychars Twitter feed will have noticed, September 24th was National Punctuation Day. Billed as the “holiday that reminds America that a semicolon is not a surgical procedure”, this year’s event was accompanied by a competition, run by the New Yorker’s Questioningly blog, to design a new mark of punctuation by combining two existing marks. The competition is now closed, and though I won’t spoil the winner for you, I will say that I particularly appreciated @Majo_P’s “commarisk” (,*), used to connect a logically unsound conclusion to a premise, and Andrew Nahem’s “meh” mark (¥<), used to indicate a lack of enthusiasm for something. See more entries and the eventual winner here!