The Cabinet of Amusement and Instruction

Mr Stops reading; from Punctuation PersonifiedMy #$%!@*, which was duly submitted last Friday afternoon, contained 113 em dashes, 38 semicolons, 219 colons, 1266 full stops, 1645 commas, 648 quotation marks, 11 "interrogative points", and 4 "notes of admiration".

Therefore it may safely be said, if it wasn't already clearly apparent, that I have a wild, sprawling love affair with punctuation. I dream of square brackets.

Kelly does not appear to mind. In fact, she gave me a book last week which has only fuelled my symbolic fetish. It's called Punctuation Personified, and it anthropomorphises this love-that-dare-not-speak. Here's the blurb:

Punctuation Personified is one of a number of didactic but very attractive coloured booklets published by John Harris in his 'Cabinet of Amusement and Instruction' and intended to teach young people the elements of grammar. First issued in 1824 'printed in superior manner upon good paper' price 1s 6d each, and illustrated with 16 engravings neatly hand coloured, it accomplished with considerable ingenuity the difficult task of explaining the uses of punctuation in an amusing way. Other titles in the series that deal with grammar include The Infant's Grammar, Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation, and The Path of Learning Strewn with Flowers.

I have reproduced Punctuation Personified in CSS.

Link: Punctuation Personified

Joseph | 14 May 2004

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