shady characters the secret life of punctuation symbols and other typographical marks

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Shady Characters The Secret Life Of Punctuation Symbols And Other Typographical Marks

Author : Keith Houston
ISBN : 9780393064421
Genre : Design
File Size : 73. 39 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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A charming and indispensable tour of two thousand years of the written word, weaves a fascinating trail across the parallel histories of language and typography.

Shady Characters

Author : Keith Houston
ISBN : 9781846146480
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 86. 55 MB
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Keith Houston's entertaining book, inspired by his popular blog, tells the unexpected stories of some unusual, and familiar, typographical marks and reveals a fascinating history of writing. Every character we write or type is a link to the past, and in today's printed, electronic and scrawled writing their history stares right back at us. This book charts the lives of some of the most intriguing examples, like how the pilcrow went from its noble origins in ancient Greece to near obsolescence, only to be revived again in word processing software. Each character reflects the bust and boom endured by punctuation with each new technological innovation and together they form a rich history of written communication. Keith Houston is the founder of, where he writes about the unusual stories behind some well-known - and some rather more outlandish - marks of punctuation.

Space Between Words

Author : Paul Saenger
ISBN : 080474016X
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 45. 99 MB
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Silent reading is now universally accepted as normal; indeed reading aloud to oneself may be interpreted as showing a lack of ability or understanding. Yet reading aloud was usual, indeed unavoidable, throughout antiquity and most of the middle ages. Saenger investigates the origins of the gradual separation of words within a continuous written text and the consequent development of silent reading. He then explores the spread of these practices throughout western Europe, and the eventual domination of silent reading in the late medieval period. A detailed work with substantial notes and appendices for reference.

Pause And Effect

Author : Malcolm Beckwith Parkes
ISBN : 0520079418
Genre : History
File Size : 84. 52 MB
Format : PDF
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Over the centuries punctuation has become an essential component of written language. Its primary function is to resolve structural uncertainties in a text, and to signal nuances of semantic significance. The importance of the study of punctuation to a number of disciplines will be widely recognised as a result of the publication of this first definitive history. The first part of Pause and Effect identifies the graphic symbols and deals with their history. It covers the antecedents of the repertory of symbols, as well as the ways in which the repertory was refined and augmented with new symbols to meet changing requirements. The second part offers a short general account of the principal influences which have contributed to the ways in which the symbols have been applied in texts, focusing on the evidence of the practice itself rather than on theorists. The treatment enables the reader to compare usages in different periods, and to isolate the principles which underlie the use of punctuation in all periods. The examples and plates which are at the core of the book provide the reader with an opportunity to test the author's observations. The examples are taken from a wide range of literary texts from different periods and languages. Latin texts are accompanied by English translations intended to illustrate the use of punctuation in the originals in so far as this is possible. Pause and Effect is destined to be a standard work. It will stimulate interest and scholarly debates among writers, literary critics, philosophers, linguists, rhetoricians, palaeographers and all those who study the use of language.

Spell It Out

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781250003478
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 43. 20 MB
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A lesser-known history of English spelling by the award-winning author of The Story of English in 100 Words is presented through engaging, pithy chapters that cover such topics as the introduction of the Roman alphabet, each letter's origins and the development of long and short vowels.

The Linguistics Of Punctuation

Author : Geoffrey Nunberg
ISBN : 0937073466
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 62. 94 MB
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Geoffrey Nunberg challenges a widespread assumption that the linguistic structure of written languages is qualitatively identical to that of spoken language: It should no longer be necessary to defend the view that written language is truly language, but it is surprising to learn of written-language category indicators that are realized by punctuation marks and other figural devices.' He shows that traditional approaches to these devices tend to describe the features of written language exclusively by analogy to those of spoken language, with the result that punctuation has been regarded as an unsystematic and deficient means for presenting spoken-language intonation. Analysed in its own terms, however, punctuation manifests a coherent linguistic subsystem of 'text-grammar' that coexists in writing with the system of 'lexical grammar' that has been the traditional object of linguistic inquiry. A detailed analysis of the category structure of English text-sentences reveals a highly systematic set of syntactic and presentational rules that can be described in terms independent of the rules of lexical grammar and are largely matters of the tacit knowledge that writers acquire without formal instruction. That these rules obey constraints that are structurally analogous to those of lexical grammar leads Nunberg to label the text-grammar an 'application' of the principles of natural language organization to a new domain. Geoffrey Nunberg is a researcher at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

Making A Point

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781466865648
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 39. 43 MB
Format : PDF
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The triumphant concluding volume in David Crystal's classic trilogy on the English language combines the first history of English punctuation with a complete guide on how to use it. Behind every punctuation mark lies a thousand stories. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. For a system of a few dozen marks it generates a disproportionate degree of uncertainty and passion, inspiring organizations like the Apostrophe Protection Society and sending enthusiasts, correction-pens in hand, in a crusade against error across the United States. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit, clarity, and commonsense. In David Crystal's Making a Point, he gives a fascinating account of the origin and progress of every kind of punctuation mark over one and a half millennia and offers sound advice on how punctuation may be used to meet the needs of every occasion and context.

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