Punctuation Ornaments (set of 3)
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Punctuation Ornaments (set of 3)

SKU: 1362
Stock: 14
Price:
$9.99

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Your Tree Isn't Finished Until You Edit It

This set of polystone (that's plastic that looks like stone) punctuation marks stands 3-1/8" (7.9 cm) tall and includes one ampersand, one question mark, and one exclamation point. Perfect for any writer, English major, or that friend who always corrects your posts on Facebook.

Are you curious...?

You wouldn't know it in our age of declining literacy (or "post-literacy" as the young prefer to call it), but punctuation was a major innovation in clarifying language. "Woman, without her man, is nothing" means the opposite of "Woman: Without her, man is nothing." A simple comma makes "Let's eat, grandma" much different than "Let's eat grandma!"

The earliest alphabets didn't need punctuation marks because writing was mainly used for record-keeping. The first known attempt at punctuation marks is found on a 9th century BC stele whose carver separated words with points and horizontal dashes. By the 5th century BC the Greeks were using patterns of dots to help with oral recitations. Things didn't change much until Medieval copyists starting cranking out Bibles that were intended to be read aloud; they invented indentation, capitalization, and spaces between words.

Punctuation didn't really take off until moveable type made the need for standardization clear by the 15th century, when books began to proliferate. The Romans invented the ampersand in the 1st century AD as a combination of the letters "et" (their word for "and)." Our word "ampersand" comes from "and per se." The question mark ("interrogation point" or "query") appeared late in the 8th century as a "lightning slash" over a period. The exclamation point might have been inspired by the Latin word "io", an expression of joy. Copyists in the Middle Ages gradually moved the "i" above the "o" and shrank the "o" to a point.

If proper punctuation is endangered by social media and texting, maybe emojis will take its place.

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