Friday, 1 February 2013

"do I write intelligable I am genneraly understood tho I do not use that awkward squad of pointings called commas colons semicolons etc and for the very reason that altho they are drilled hourly daily and weekly by every boarding school Miss who pretends to gossip in correspondence… Those who have made grammar up into a system and cut it into classes and orders as the student does the animal or vegetable creation may be a fine recreation for schools but it becomes of no use towards making any one so far acquainted with it as to find it useful—it will only serve to puzzle and mislead to awe and intimidate instead of aiding and encouraging him therefore it pays nothing for the study"

- John Clare (quoted in Jeffrey Robinson’s "Romantic Presences").

Picture: Page from Timothy Dexter's "A Pickle for the Knowing Ones; or Plain Truth in a Homespun Dress" (1848). Dexter's book contained no punctuation, and when people complained about the lack he added an extra page of punctuation marks and instructed readers to “peper and solt it as they plese”.

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