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First in, first out: The pilcrow’s strange typographic history — Designing Medium. Early on, reading text was like driving Interstate 5 through L.A. on a Friday night. Bowl-to-bowl traffic, zero punctuation, no lowercase letter shapes to help the eye commute. Reading was hard work — so hard, indeed, that one would usually read out loud, and only in that way realize where to pause, where to breathe, and where to stop. One of the first on the scene — before the rest of punctuation made their figurative and literal mark — was the pilcrow, inserted in between yet-shapeless paragraphs, still figuring out its final shape. As, throughout the ages, we started recognizing the value of whitespace, inventing the technology necessary to support it, and learning how to reduce the cost of paper, pilcrows often found themselves dropped to a new line.

And so the pilcrow slowly disappeared, the indentation at the beginning of a paragraph sticking around as its afterimage. Indented paragraphs is something you can still see in most of today’s books. How to Use an Asterisk in Grammar. The word "asterisk" is a derivative of the Latin "aster," meaning "star," and hence, the asterisk is a little star. When speaking, many people make the error of omitting the second s, or replacing it with an x, ending the word with a "rik" or a "rix" rather than "risk.

" Such pronunciation perhaps stems from the transposition of the last two letters, s and k. The correct pronunciation requires a little preciseness, which might make some feel that it comes across as affected or pretentious speech when it is simply correct. Step 1 Use an asterisk (*) in a body of text to indicate a footnote.

This placement specifies where an author wants to provide extra information on a particular subject by way of additional information or clarification. Step 2 Use an asterisk in English grammar in the place of omitted material in a report or paper. Step 3 Use an asterisk to combine points or denote numerical values where there may be more than one point of clarification. Step 4 Tip About the Author. How to Use an Asterisk. Chuck Tomasi pointed out that Rich Hall, author of the Sniglets books, made up a name for the feeling you get when you encounter an orphan apostrophe: asterexasperation.

And here’s a little-known piece of trivia. Arnie Ten, the artist who drew the illustrations in the Sniglets books, was also the artist for the first two Grammar Girl books. He brought Squiggly, the snail, and the peeves to life, so to speak. Using an Asterisk as a Footnote Symbol So, do asterisks differ from other footnote symbols, like numbers or letters? However, if you have more than one comment on a single page, you typically use a set of symbols in a specific order. It’s also important to note that the Associated Press Stylebook (AP) says not to use the asterisk in journalism writing because the symbol may not be seen by AP computers or received by newspapers. (3) Asterisks and Other Punctuation Marks When you’re placing an asterisk in a sentence, you may wonder where it goes relative to other punctuation marks.

Ampersand-learn-typography.jpg (JPEG Image, 950 × 4429 pixels) - Scaled (22%) Strange Typography. The Octothorpe, part 1 of 2. Octothorpe. Pronounced /ˈɒktəʊθɔːp/ This word is beginning to appear in a few dictionaries, but still seems mostly to be a jargon term of the North American telephone business for the handset symbol #. It has reached semi-official status by being mentioned in international standards documents but that’s no guarantee of a wide circulation any time soon. Octothorpe is just one of a plethora of names for the symbol. In the US it’s often called the pound key, because it has long been used to mark numbers related to weight, or for similar reasons the number sign, which is one of its internationally agreed names. Elsewhere it is commonly called hash, a term dating from the 1970s that may have been a popular misunderstanding of hatch. Many humorous or slangy terms have also been recorded, none of them with wide circulation: tic-tac-toe, gate, crunch, and many others.

With all these terms about, inventing a new one, especially such an odd-ball one as octothorpe, would seem to serve no practical purpose. A Natural History of the @ Sign: Part One. The "@" symbol. . . Used by grocers and accountants throughout the English-speaking world to indicate a rate, or cost per unit, as in "10 gal @ $3.95/gal" [ten gallons at three dollars and ninety-five cents per gallon] has become the de facto delimiter in e-mail addresses, separating the user's name from the domain name. Although the change from at meaning "for a given amount per" to at meaning "in a specified (electronic) location" comes fairly naturally to English speakers, it does not for native speakers of other languages, for whom neither "at" nor @ meant anything until e-mail came around. Indeed, a fair number of internet users live in countries that don't use the same alphabet English does (Japan, China, former republics of the Soviet Union including Russia, and Arabic-speaking countries, to name some major ones), and where the keyboards did not conveniently include the @ character until after it's widespread use on the internet made it a necessity.

Other names attested: FORTH. History of the 'at' symbol @ commercial at. Home Bidding Information FYI email History of @ What do you call the @ symbol used in e-mail addresses? From: Cool That little "a" with a circle curling around it that is found in email addresses is most commonly referred to as the "at" symbol. Surprisingly though, there is no official, universal name for this sign.

For instance, some quirky names for the @ symbol include: apenstaartje - Dutch for "monkey's tail" snabel - Danish for "elephant's trunk" kissanhnta - Finnish for "cat's tail" klammeraffe - German for "hanging monkey" papaki - Greek for "little duck" kukac - Hungarian for "worm" dalphaengi - Korean for "snail" grisehale - Norwegian for "pig's tail" sobachka - Russian for "little dog" More on the symbology Before it became the standard symbol for electronic mail, the @ symbol was used to represent the cost or weight of something. With the introduction of e-mail came the popularity of the @ symbol.

The actual origin of the @ symbol remains an enigma. The History of the Ampersand and Showcase. The ampersand is one of the most unique typographical characters out there. Typography designers can exercise a lot more artistic freedom in the design of the ampersand, ranging from very traditional representations to those that bear little resemblance to the original form. But many designers have little knowledge about the origin and meaning of the ampersand. The ampersand has a long and rather interesting history, though. And with all the variations available out there, there are a whole host of design possibilities presented by this particular character. Read on for more information, a history of the ampersand, and a gallery of ampersand designs from a variety of different typefaces. A Brief History of the Ampersand The ampersand can be traced back to the first century AD.

The first ampersands looked very much like the separate E and T combined, but as type developed over the next few centuries, it eventually became more stylized and less representative of its origins. Ampersand Designs. How ampersand came from a misunderstanding. Johnson & Johnson, Barnes & Noble, Dolce & Gabbana: the ampersand today is used primarily in business names, but that small character was once the 27th part of the alphabet. Where did it come from though? The origin of its name is almost as bizarre as the name itself. The shape of the character (&) predates the word ampersand by more than 1,500 years. In the first century, Roman scribes wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word et which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well.

Certain versions of the ampersand, like that in the font Caslon, clearly reveal the origin of the shape. The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. (The ampersand is also used in an unusual configuration where it appears as “&c” and means etc. The ampersand isn’t the only former member of the alphabet. Are there other symbols or letters you would like to learn about? Octothorpe: the history of the hashtag I The Feed. The History of the Interrobang ‽ ‽ ‽ Interrobang.

Pronounced /ˈɪnˈtɛrəʊbæŋ/ A current interpretation of the interrobang, in Palatino Linotype It’s a combination of an exclamation mark and a question mark. It was invented in 1962 through the advocacy of Martin Speckter, head of a New York advertising agency, Martin K Speckter Associates, which handled promotion for the Wall Street Journal, among other clients. For decades, advertising copywriters had used both marks together to imply various blends of question and exclamation. The combination might indicate a rhetorical question allied with an exclamation, or a shout of wonder and curiosity. It may also mark that mixture of incredulity and dismay which any parent may produce at stressful moments: “You did what?!” Mr Speckter asked the readers of TYPEtalks Magazine, which he then edited, to suggest a shape and a name for the character.

At first, it was positively received: The “?” Wall Street Journal, 6 Apr. 1962. Time, 21 Jul. 1967. Life, 15 Nov. 1968. The interrobang.