Miscellany № 71 — ‘⋮’ redux

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Last time round, inspired by Marcin Wichary’s tweet, I wrote a short post about the curious case of the character ‘⋮’, which was present on some of the earliest typewriter keyboards but that mysteriously disappeared from later machines. The comments came in thick and fast, and reader Thomas A. Fine was moved to carry out his own investigation into the life and death of the elusive vertical ellipsis.

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The 2014 Shady Characters gift guide

A couple of years ago, my wife gave me a pair of interrobang cufflinks (as shown above) for Christmas. They were the perfect gift, and I was lucky to get them — I’m afraid to say that they’re no longer available. But if you’re still looking for a gift for the punctuation-phile in your life, worry not: ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the inaugural Shady Characters holiday gift guide!

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Miscellany № 45: the endangered @

I learn from Mashable and Buzzfeed that Twitter is planning to streamline its user interface so as to downplay the roles of the @-symbol and the ‘#’, or octothorpe.

I am troubled by this.

For the uninitiated, Twitter is a “microblogging” service where users post messages restricted to 140 characters or fewer. When replying to a message, the response is automatically prefixed with an @-sign and the original author’s name. For example, if I, as @shadychars, posted this message:

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