Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Semicolon is Italian!

Aldus Manutius was credited with “inventing the semi-colon, and establishing the modern book trade with his easily transportable pocket-sized version of Greek philosophy and literary Latin  (page 79).

I wonder if anyone has ever written a history of the semicolon?  You'd only have to go back, according to Garfield, as far at the late 1400s.  I'm curious because as a Victorianist, I can't help but notice that nineteenth century writers were pretty flexible with how they used the semicolon whereas we have really only two uses for it: complex lists and linking independent clauses.

~ From Just My Type:A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield.

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