December 2021


We get on average, about 200 books across our desk in a typical week.
These will normally get sorted into: say, a dozen for further research.

The rest are priced and put out on shelves, and then one or two are put aside“to read”.


And so it was last week that we came across a remarkable book: “Shady Characters” by Keith Houston.
In twelve Chapters he tells us the fascinating story behind all those strange tongue-twisting symbols in the typesetter’s dictionary!
The Octothorpe (aka the Hashtag) and the Interrobang are shown above, each side of Keith Houston's book cover.

And so it was we made up a little ditty to share with you below.


“Gram Gram Epizeuxis* in a Synedoche** ”


Shebangs, Hash-bangs, Interrobangs, and Logograms

Dipthongs, Dot-coms, Octothorpes and Nomograms

Minuscules, Manicules, Majuscules and Pictograms

Hashtags, Ligatures, Pilcrows and Telegrams

Cryptograms, Histograms, Monograms and Anagrams

Ideograms, Epigrams, Holograms and Diagrams

These are just some snappy Dythirams
All Ex Cathedra...Houston's shady oral Shebangs!

*To repeat a word for emphasis..!
**When a part represents the whole word or phrase.

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