Monday, July 09, 2007


The Origin of Everyday Punctuation Marks

(via) Okay, this is damned nifty. Neato, even. Ostensibly the origin of punctuation marks, reprinted from Uncle John’s Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader.
Origin: When early scholars wrote in Latin, they would place the word questio - meaning "question" - at the end of a sentence to indicate a query. To conserve valuable space, writing it was soon shortened to qo, which caused another problem - readers might mistake it for the ending of a word. So they squashed the letters into a symbol: a lowercased q on top of an o. Over time the o shrank to a dot and the q to a squiggle, giving us our current question mark.
More interesting stuff in the link.

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