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Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. Oktober 2014


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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Might make you look at books... in an entirely new way. --Andrew Robinson

Houston...is a tireless researcher and an amiable teacher. --Jan Gardner

Fascinating. --Rob Kyff

If Eats, Shoots & Leaves whetted your appetite on the subject of punctuation, then you have a treat in store. Shady Characters is an authoritative, witty, and fascinating tour of the history and rationale behind such lesser known marks as the ampersand, manicule, the pilcrow, and the interrobang. Keith Houston also explains the octothorpe otherwise known as the hashtag and and my final comment on his book is #awesome. --Ben Yagoda, author of How to Not Write Bad"

I'm a sucker for this stuff. The @ is called chiocciola (snail) in Italian! The & was once taught as a letter of the alphabet! The manicule has been with us for a millennium! Thank you, Keith Houston, for bringing these little mysteries out of the shadows of typographic history. --Constance Hale, author of Vex, Hex, Smash and Smooch and Sin and Syntax"

For fans of Lynn Truss's Eat's, Shoots, and Leaves, this bestiary of lesser-known punctuation marks is a wonder. "

Funny, surprising, and, of course, geeky. --Michael D. Schaffer and John Timpane"

Fascinating. --Rob Kyff"

Make no mistake: this is a book of secrets. With zeal and rigor, Keith Houston cracks open the &, the #, the and more all the little matryoshka dolls of meaning that make writing work. Inside, we meet novelists, publishers, scholars and scribes; we range from ancient Greeks to hashtagged tweets; and we see the weird and wonderful foundations of the most successful technology of all time.--Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"

Funny, surprising, and, of course, geeky.--Michael D. Schaffer and John Timpane

Might make you look at books in an entirely new way.--Andrew Robinson"

Houston is a tireless researcher and an amiable teacher.--Jan Gardner"

A pleasurable contribution to type history, particularly for readers who haven t considered the ampersand in any detail.--Carl W. Scarbrough"

Fascinating.--Rob Kyff

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Keith Houston is the author of Shady Characters and the founder of shadycharacters.co.uk. He lives in London.


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Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen 56 Rezensionen
71 von 72 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Don't buy this book for Kindle 9. Oktober 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The nonstandard characters used in the book render as microscopic; I can't find a fix for this, and it happens both on the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Android app. The parts of the book that I can read are interesting, but I'm missing a lot with the rendering deficiency. Frankly I'm a bit shocked that a publisher would let this go to market in this condition. Perhaps the paper version is more legible.
37 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Lots of sunshine on a shady history 2. Oktober 2013
Von C. Ebeling - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Not that long ago, I was reading an edition of a Shakespeare play that retained the original formatting. I stared at the punctuation and thought how very modern it was, and just as I was reminded that I've often wondered where we get these marks we use every day, along came Keith Houston with this ray of sunshine called Shady Characters. I ordered it instantly and had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, it is hands down informative, earnest, witty, well-produced and so very reassuringly human in this digital age.

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.
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting but avoid digital versions 28. November 2013
Von Steve Harrison - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Many punctuation marks turn out to have a surprisingly long and, for the few of us fascinated by such things, interesting history. The book does a nice job of telling it. The style is brief, breezy, and popularized, though it does make reference to sources.

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.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Quirky topic but well written. 13. Oktober 2013
Von Gizmo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Deceptively interesting book. Good blend of history, both ancient and newer. Good read. I first hear about the book in the New York Times which lead me to read his blog, where I got hooked. I'd encourage people to go to the shady characters blog to read essentially the entire first chapter to see what you think.
20 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you like pilcrows and octothorps, you'll love this book. 12. September 2013
Von Michael N. Marcus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I have both intense and obscure interests. It sometimes seems like an author is writing for an audience consisting of just me. It's common for a book I love and pay full price for, to be doomed to the buck-a-book-tables. My wife would prefer that I wait for a $25 book to be marked down to $1, but that's not how I work.

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)
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