Signs of Civilisation
How punctuation changed history
'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.
About this Author
B?rd Borch Michalsen (born 1958) is a qualified media expert and has been working as a journalist and editor for newspapers most of his life. He is already an author of several published books, and is now teaching profesional communication at Arctic University of Norway in Troms?, Norway.
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