It’s something we probably don’t notice from our day to day routine, and with an average of 140 characters used to express ideas, it is often overlooked; make no mistake though, punctuation matters! But where do these strange symbols come from?
Here’s a timeline for the curious readers out there!
In Ancient Greece, people had a tendency to write sentences with no spaces whichgotannoyingreallyfast. So a librarian named Aristophanes decided he would introduce symbols to help space apart the words and make it easier to read.
Instead of the symbols as we know them today, the comma, colon, and period were a series of dots placed low to high to indicate the length of a pause if the words were spoken.
As reading and writing became more common throughout religious circles, different interpreters wanted to reference each other within their texts without confusing who actually said what.
Christian scholars found a way around this by enclosing something called a diple “< >” around the text that was not their own. Eventually, these would be revised into the double-upside-down-commas, likely to save space on the page. You can quote me on that.
But wait! There’s more? Let’s find out…