19 episodes

What this podcast is *not*: a rule guide on proper punctuation.

We'll only conjure the ghost of grammar in order to put it to rest.

What this podcast *is*: a journey through the weird behaviour of punctuation in the wild. Be prepared to amble on the placid path of the comma, get lost on the winding road of brackets, and arrive at the well-deserved rest of the full stop.

Along the way, we'll explore the past & future of punctuation, why a comma sparked the Russian Revolution, how to earn millions with a semicolon, and what your favourite mark says about you.

Mind your dots & dashes!

Standing on Points: A Cultural History of Punctuation Florence Hazrat

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

What this podcast is *not*: a rule guide on proper punctuation.

We'll only conjure the ghost of grammar in order to put it to rest.

What this podcast *is*: a journey through the weird behaviour of punctuation in the wild. Be prepared to amble on the placid path of the comma, get lost on the winding road of brackets, and arrive at the well-deserved rest of the full stop.

Along the way, we'll explore the past & future of punctuation, why a comma sparked the Russian Revolution, how to earn millions with a semicolon, and what your favourite mark says about you.

Mind your dots & dashes!

    Love: What's punctuation's got to do with it?

    Love: What's punctuation's got to do with it?

    Punctuation has *everything* to do with love!  Want to up your online dating game through emojis and exclamation marks? Asking yourself why you never get answers to your Tinder profile? And why do people who pepper their messages with emojis have more sex??? This episode is for you!

    Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Keep punctuation those cards and romantic text messages... 3

    • 52 min
    An Admirable Point: Highlights from my Book on !

    An Admirable Point: Highlights from my Book on !

    I've been silent on this podcast for a while, because I've been busy writing, editing, and (finally!) publishing my book on the wild life and times of the *drumroll* exclamation mark!!! (Surely that deserves three of 'em!) It came out in the UK yesterday (3 November 2022), and is published with Profile. What better way to celebrate its birth & my return to podcasting than with a session on the book's highlights. If you liked what you've heard, you can get the book at UK bookshops and on Amazon (click here for more information). It's coming out in the US in 2023. It's a great stocking filler, so why don't you play exclamation mark Santa to someone! 

    • 1 hr 7 min
    How to Write Seduction: A Few More Glyphs

    How to Write Seduction: A Few More Glyphs

    The handful of signs at our disposal nowadays (! or ? or ; or *), they need to do an enormous amount of work in terms of clarifying sentence structure and transmitting appropriate emotional intentions of the writer. What if we had more marks at hand to help us communicate more precisely quite what we mean in text that hides our faces, gestures, and tones of voice? What if we were able to encode sometimes abstract, sometimes sensuous emotions and cognitive states like yearning, pessimism, tolerance, solidarity, and outrage? Would you like to flag up your textual boredom? 

    Join me in a lively conversation with typographer Walter Bohatsch on "Typojis", a set of new punctuation marks doing just that: challenging us to think again, and feel differently, with and about text.

    For Typojis and the book, click here: Dedicated symbols for the semantic qualities that characterize our communication | Typojis

    • 46 min
    All you Need is Love (and a few other Emotions): New Punctuation for Children's Stories

    All you Need is Love (and a few other Emotions): New Punctuation for Children's Stories

    What big teeth you have, grandma! Mirror, mirror, on the wall... Fairy tales are replete with great emotions, pleasant and not so much. Anger, joy, disgust, surprise, fear, love -- what if there were signs encoding all of them at eyesight?

    Designer and typographer Thierry Fétiveau has developed eleven new punctuation marks for children's stories doing just that. His work invites us to a radical new engagement with reading and experiencing words, and testifies to punctuation's relevance today. In the age of the emoji, do we still need punctuation? We do. 

    Find out why by joining our conversation about design development, progressive punctuation, and the courage (and joy) to read feelingly. 

    For Thierry's work and punctuation marks click here: Thierry Fétiveau, design graphique et typographie - Andersen (thierryfetiveau.fr)

    • 35 min
    Holy Punctuation: A Conversation

    Holy Punctuation: A Conversation

    Nothing less than the salvation of your soul -- when it's about understanding the meaning of God's words, it's crucial to get it right. That's why all three "religions of the book", Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have developed systems of punctuation in order to fix meaning and guide reading of their holy texts. In this episode, I talk to Professor Abla Hasan from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about punctuation in the Koran, and about her wider work on language and gender relationships in Islam. Join us as we discuss the birth and transmission of the Koran, how navigating its verses is like riding a car in a busy city, and why it's not actually Eve's fault we were banished from Paradise!

    • 55 min
    Any Questions?

    Any Questions?

    What's the right size of a dog? Do you look forward to being a pensioner? Are you using a basket for picknicking? What did you do at bandcamp? Do you mind my asking so many questions? 
    If you're looking for answers, stop listening. If you are curious about the origin of questions and the questionmark, tune in. In this episode, I'm exploring the history of the sign, how it entered writing in the Middle Ages, and what it's doing in literature, and I'm also thinking about "uptalk" - I mean uptalk? 

    • 53 min

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