Shady Characters - The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks (Anglais) Relié – 10 septembre 2013
Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
Entertaining, informative, a must-read. If ever a book deserved its hardbacked, reverse-embossed, lavishly illustrated, thick white heavy paper incarnation, and a place on an actual bookshelf, it is Shady Characters. (Guardian)
Engaging typographical journeys . . . Houston brings to life a history of ingenuity and imagination (The Times)
Houston brings considerable wit to the 5,000-year-old enigma of how we attempt to communicate our thoughts through visible signs . . . Shady Characters might make you look at books - in print or online - in an entirely new way (Nature)
Shady Characters ventures into the previously untrodden history of punctuation marks . . . scholarly, highly readable (Spectator)
Refreshing . . . the stories he uncovers along the way are fascinating (Telegraph) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Houston has selected the pilcrow (that backward P for paragraph), "commercial at" (@), octothorpe (pound or hash sign), ampersand, asterisk, dagger, hyphen, manicule (pointing hand), quotation marks, the interrobang (question mark overlaid with an exclamation mark) and marks to indicate irony and sarcasm. The earliest symbols show up with the Greeks and Romans; turning points include the rise of Christianity, the Renaissance and the invention of the printing press, and, more recently, the typewriter. Computers and the internet are respectful latecomers to the party.
Houston is a detective who digs for hard evidence. Typographical legends persist and he insists on finding the truth. Assumptions are dashed. His end notes and bibliography reveal that he shifted through a lot of dry, not to mention dusty, texts in search of his answers and he has done a terrific job of articulating the information. He sustains a vibrant energy to the last page. The hardcover book is attractively produced with the symbols rendered in red ink.
This is Houston's first book. On the strength of it, I'll sign up for his next, whatever it is.
Some of the history of punctuation involves historical trivia only distantly related to it but that the author either couldn't bear to leave out or needed to throw in in order to expand an otherwise slender volume. His knowledge of those other things, both ancient and modern, is not always as sure as his understanding of punctuation, and sometimes that shows.
Another review mentions that non-standard characters are "microscopic" on Kindle and Android platforms. I can report that they are on the iPad as well.
I'm a type geek and I find information entertaining. I already knew some of what's in this book, but the new details are delightful and delicious. If you share my enthusiasm for pilcrows, octothorps, ampersands, interrobangs and em dashes, buy this book.
One of my contributions: The One Buck Indie Author's Type Book (Silver Sands Publishing Series)