Pause and Effect

The past and future of punctuation marks.

Detail from the cover of Le Mot, 1 May 1915, illustration by Paul Iribe. Photo © Bridgeman Images

We send each other millions of faces each day, hoping to press complex emotional tones into waywardly arranged punctuation marks: a colon, a dash, half a bracket, closed if happy, open if sad. This seems like a radical reinvention of these marks, yet the real leap of thought happened much earlier.

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