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Shady Characters by Keith Houston

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Where does the ampersand get its name from? What does the hashtag have to do with commerce in ancient Rome? Keith Houston gives the answers in this delightfully entertaining book.

From the pilcrow ¶ to the ampersand, the entire cast of Shady Characters reflects the changes in written communication through the ages, charting how punctuation has adapted to each new technological innovation. Together, these shady characters form a rich, entertaining and surprising history of the written word and our ongoing attempts to shape it.

Keith Houston is the founder of ShadyCharacters.co.uk, where he writes about the unusual stories behind some well-known - and some rather more outlandish - marks of punctuation.

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