Shady characters: the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks

Book Cover
Average Rating
W.W. Norton & Company,
Pub. Date:
First edition.
A charming and indispensable tour of two thousand years of the written word, Shady Characters weaves a fascinating trail across the parallel histories of language and typography.

Whether investigating the asterisk (*) and dagger (+)--which alternately illuminated and skewered heretical verses of the early Bible--or the at sign (@), which languished in obscurity for centuries until rescued by the Internet, Keith Houston draws on myriad sources to chart the life and times of these enigmatic squiggles, both exotic (¶) and everyday (&).

From the Library of Alexandria to the halls of Bell Labs, figures as diverse as Charlemagne, Vladimir Nabokov, and George W. Bush cross paths with marks as obscure as the interrobang (?) and as divisive as the dash (--). Ancient Roman graffiti, Venetian trading shorthand, Cold War double agents, and Madison Avenue round out an ever more diverse set of episodes, characters, and artifacts.

Richly illustrated, ranging across time, typographies, and countries, Shady Characters will delight and entertain all who cherish the unpredictable and surprising in the writing life.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c3b70c88-8c2f-f035-a413-60f52c35411b
Grouping Title shady characters the secret life of punctuation symbols and other typographical marks
Grouping Author houston keith
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-07-19 23:26:08PM
Last Indexed 2018-07-20 00:19:11AM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Houston, Keith, 1977-
author_display Houston, Keith
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Bellevue - Adult Non-Fiction, Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description Revealing the secret history of punctuation, this tour of two thousand years of the written word, from ancient Greece to the Internet, explores the parallel histories of language and typography throughout the world and across time.
format_catalog Book
format_category_catalog Books
id c3b70c88-8c2f-f035-a413-60f52c35411b
isbn 9780393064421
item_details ils:CARL0000429714|35192045122870|Bellevue - Adult Non-Fiction|411 H8435s|||1|false|false|||||Checked Out||BL||, ils:CARL0000429714|35192045122888|Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction|411 H8435s|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||GH||
itype_catalog Book
last_indexed 2018-07-20T05:19:11.722Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 411 H8435s
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Green Hills, Green Hills Kids
primary_isbn 9780393064421
publishDate 2013
record_details ils:CARL0000429714|Book|Books|First edition.|English|W.W. Norton & Company,|[2013]|340 pages ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:CARL0000429714 35192045122888 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000429714 35192045122870 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false true
subject_facet Punctuation -- History, Signs and symbols -- History, Type and type-founding -- History, Writing -- History
title_display Shady characters : the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks
title_full Shady characters : the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks / Keith Houston
title_short Shady characters :
title_sub the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks
topic_facet History, Punctuation, Signs and symbols, Type and type-founding, Writing