Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation

This event has finished Took place on: Monday, 15th Jul 2019

The stor­ies of punc­tu­ation marks

Punctuation can feel ageless, as durable as the 2,000-year-old Roman inscriptions from which we take our uppercase letters. For the stonemasons who carved those ancient capitals, however, punctuation was little more than a curiosity. Nor had it made much of an impact by the 8th century, when St Cuthbert's famous Gospel book was written. Even Johannes Gutenberg used only five marks to punctuate his 42-line Bible. How did punctuation get from there to here - from obscurity to ubiquity?

From ancient Egypt to the iPhone, join Keith Houston in tracing the history of the punctuation marks, symbols and other typographical signs that add meaning to our words - and which sometimes do just the opposite.

Keith Houston is a software engineer and writer who documents unusual marks of punctuation at his blog, Shady Characters. His 2016 book on book history, The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, was called “possibly the best of our time”. (Stephen Heller, Eye Magazine).
Image: courtesy of Penny Speckter. Proposed interrobangs from Type Talks, March-April 1962, drawn by Jack Lipton of Martin K. Speckter Associates, Inc.

Cost: £12.00


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2019-07-15 2019-07-15 Europe/London Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation From ancient Egypt to the iPhone, join Keith Houston in tracing the history of the punctuation marks, symbols and other typographical signs that add meaning to our words - and which sometimes do just the opposite. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2019/07/15/shady-characters-the-secret-life-of-punctuation-204744 The British Library,96 Euston Road, London,London,London

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The British Library,

96 Euston Road, London,
London,
London,
NW1 2DB

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