Wednesday 3 December 2014

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks

Shady Charactersby Keith Houston

Nothing could sound more boring than a book about the question mark and that weird paragraph symbol (It's got an actual name, this symbol. It's called a pilcrow and it looks like this: )  But it's actually oddly interesting.  This is almost a history of publishing as much as the stories of the symbols themselves.  Each chapter generally stands alone, telling the history of a given symbol, but put all together, you learn the whys and wherefores of our weird keyboards, why given symbols despite years of disuse, still exist.

And, perhaps for the internet generation, we can finally agree on what to call this: #.

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