Standing on Points: A Cultural History of Punctuation
By Florence Hazrat
Standing on Points: A Cultural History of PunctuationFeb 14, 2023
Love: What's punctuation's got to do with it?
Punctuation has *everything* to do with love! Want to up your online dating game through emojis and exclamation marks? Asking yourself why you never get answers to your Tinder profile? And why do people who pepper their messages with emojis have more sex??? This episode is for you!
Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Keep punctuation those cards and romantic text messages...
An Admirable Point: Highlights from my Book on !
I've been silent on this podcast for a while, because I've been busy writing, editing, and (finally!) publishing my book on the wild life and times of the *drumroll* exclamation mark!!! (Surely that deserves three of 'em!) It came out in the UK yesterday (3 November 2022), and is published with Profile. What better way to celebrate its birth & my return to podcasting than with a session on the book's highlights. If you liked what you've heard, you can get the book at UK bookshops and on Amazon (click here for more information). It's coming out in the US in 2023. It's a great stocking filler, so why don't you play exclamation mark Santa to someone!
How to Write Seduction: A Few More Glyphs
The handful of signs at our disposal nowadays (! or ? or ; or *), they need to do an enormous amount of work in terms of clarifying sentence structure and transmitting appropriate emotional intentions of the writer. What if we had more marks at hand to help us communicate more precisely quite what we mean in text that hides our faces, gestures, and tones of voice? What if we were able to encode sometimes abstract, sometimes sensuous emotions and cognitive states like yearning, pessimism, tolerance, solidarity, and outrage? Would you like to flag up your textual boredom?
Join me in a lively conversation with typographer Walter Bohatsch on "Typojis", a set of new punctuation marks doing just that: challenging us to think again, and feel differently, with and about text.
For Typojis and the book, click here: Dedicated symbols for the semantic qualities that characterize our communication | Typojis
All you Need is Love (and a few other Emotions): New Punctuation for Children's Stories
What big teeth you have, grandma! Mirror, mirror, on the wall... Fairy tales are replete with great emotions, pleasant and not so much. Anger, joy, disgust, surprise, fear, love -- what if there were signs encoding all of them at eyesight?
Designer and typographer Thierry Fétiveau has developed eleven new punctuation marks for children's stories doing just that. His work invites us to a radical new engagement with reading and experiencing words, and testifies to punctuation's relevance today. In the age of the emoji, do we still need punctuation? We do.
Find out why by joining our conversation about design development, progressive punctuation, and the courage (and joy) to read feelingly.
For Thierry's work and punctuation marks click here: Thierry Fétiveau, design graphique et typographie - Andersen (thierryfetiveau.fr)
Holy Punctuation: A Conversation
Nothing less than the salvation of your soul -- when it's about understanding the meaning of God's words, it's crucial to get it right. That's why all three "religions of the book", Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have developed systems of punctuation in order to fix meaning and guide reading of their holy texts. In this episode, I talk to Professor Abla Hasan from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about punctuation in the Koran, and about her wider work on language and gender relationships in Islam. Join us as we discuss the birth and transmission of the Koran, how navigating its verses is like riding a car in a busy city, and why it's not actually Eve's fault we were banished from Paradise!
If you're looking for answers, stop listening. If you are curious about the origin of questions and the questionmark, tune in. In this episode, I'm exploring the history of the sign, how it entered writing in the Middle Ages, and what it's doing in literature, and I'm also thinking about "uptalk" - I mean uptalk?
An Admirable Point: The Screamer, the Slammer, the Dog’s Dick, the Exclamation Mark
Yo!!! Join me on a journey from medieval manuscripts to text messages, comics, music, linguistics, and chess, and discover the where and why of the !!!!! Also, what's the town with the most ! in its name? Listen in and find out. Or rather 'out!'.
Saving the World One Comma at a Time: A Conversation
Find her poems here:
You can follow her on Twitter here:
Beside the Point: Fate and Future of the Paragraph
Digitization has rung the death knoll to many a punctuation mark, and other features of navigating the text like paragraphs and indentation. Or has it? Surprisingly, the simple act of dividing a text through blank lines into paragraphs has not always been practised, and so, its status is not at all a given in the future's exponentially growing online communication. In this episode, we think about what paragraphs and indentations are, why we have them, and why it might be smart to hang onto them just a little longer. Listen in for the history of blanks, and some nerdy typography digressions to boot!
This. And Elsewhere: The History of the Index
An index helps with that, that of the hand, and that in a book. But how did books actually come to have them? And what are they useful for?
This episode traces the development of indexes (or indices!), that under-estimated text navigation technology that's still with us today in for of Google searches.
Of the impossibility of imposing rules on an unruly system.
Are you a stickler when it comes to grammar or punctuation? Then don't listen to this one.
Some thoughts in defence of an expansive sense of language (read, in defence of mistakes and ambiguity).
Part 2 of Part 2 of the History of Punctuation
I continue the long second part of the history of punctuation, exploring mini-biographies of the parenthesis, ellipses (DOT DOT DOT), and quotation marks. From the Renaissance, I also rush through to the present day, touching on digital punctuation. But that's for another episode!
Part 1 of Part 2 of the History of Punctuation: Late Medieval to Early Modern
Apostrophe, semi-colon, comma, parentheses, ellipses, quotation marks -- six marks and counting within 200 years. How come there is an explosion of punctuation marks in between 1400 and 1600? What were the intellectual and technological factors accounting for such a boom?
This is part 1 of part 2 of the history of punctuation -- I realized part is a long history, so there are two parts of part 2!
Nothing is but what is not: Punctuation which isn't.
Not Lost in Translation: By any other Name
The Shape of Them
Mind the Gap: The History of Punctuation Part 1
In the beginning there was the word, ANDTHEWORDWASWRITTENLIKETHAT -- and nobody was able to read at first sight!
In this episode, we explore why the Greeks and Romans were bad at punctuation, and how bunch of monks from Ireland invented the single most useful element of punctuation: white space.