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Signs of Civilisation

How punctuation changed history

Bard Borch Michalsen



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Hodder & Stoughton
12 November 2019
'Punctuation is not only an important part of our language code; an advanced system of punctuation has been a driving force in our entire Western Civilisation. Nothing less.' With the invention of printing, reading books moved from being an act only performed by priests and aristocrats into an individual, even private, activity. This change helped spark the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution - in which punctuation played a crucial role. As long as texts were read out loud only by an educated elite there was no need for punctuation to mark pauses, full stops or questions.

So punctuation - the full stop, the comma, the exclamation mark, the question mark and the semicolon - helped shape modern day Europe as we know it.
By:   Bard Borch Michalsen
Imprint:   Hodder & Stoughton
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 202mm,  Width: 134mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   245g
ISBN:   9781529326734
ISBN 10:   1529326737
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   12 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Bard Borch Michalsen is the author of several books about communication, language and writing, including Comma, published in Norway in 2014. Having worked for many years as a journalist and newspaper editor, he is now an associate professor at the Arctic University of Norway where he teaches communication and project management.

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