2017 October 31
originally posted on facebook

Today I learned that some of our most used punctuation dates back to ~200 BC, preceding the popularization of lower-case letters or having spaces between words by about 1000 years. The period, comma, and colon have all changed notation slightly since their invention by Aristophanes of Byzantium, but the asterisk has mostly retained its form and meaning (to mark corrections) since its invention by his student Aristarchus (not the famous Aristarchus that suggested that the stars might be other suns, but rather the one known for being a very strict grammarian). “It said that Aristarchus had a remarkable memory and was completely indifferent as to his external appearance.”


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