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From Barnes & Noble
Until the internet, punctuation marks seem to have been melting into one gelatinous liquid: commas, semi-colons, colons, and even periods were beginning to seem almost interchangeable; & was slipping into unmourned obsolescence and # was nowhere in sight. Now thanks to email and Twitter, hashtags, exclamation points, and smiley faces have refocused our attention on the little signs that we take for granted. Keith Houston's Shady Characters traverse the entire terrain of punctuation mark history from ampersands and apostrophes to understrikes and vertical bars. Editor's recommendation.