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☛ Uncommon Typography and Punctuation Marks ❦


In writing, there are rare and unusual pronunciation marks and typography that we don't use very often. 

Hedera ❦

The word comes from the common ivy plant, it’s for a good reason. Hedera is “ivy” in Latin, and the symbol was designed to look as pretty as a vine. Latin and Greek texts featured the attractive symbol as a paragraph divider. Though writers tend to use paragraph marks (pilcrows) now, the hedera was one of the first paragraph dividers. Though rare, you can still find it in some typefaces. You can also try searching for it by its other name, fleuron.

Here's an example on the back of a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game, D&D: Warriors of The Eternal Sun.

The asterism ⁂

In astronomy, an asterism is a small group of stars. In the world of punctuation, it is a group of three asterisks in a triangular or horizontal formation. Asterisms are closely obsolete. Publishers are more likely to divide sections of a text with spaces, dots, horizontal lines, subheadings—anything other than an asterism itself.

Asterisms in James Joyce Ulysses, the "Wandering Rocks" chapter, from the 1922 edition.

Index (Manicule)☞

The names reflect the fact that the symbol is a hand. Sometimes it's called fist, printer’s fist, bishop’s fist, hand, hand director, pointing hand, and mutton-fist. In homage to the finger, there’s digit, index, and pointer. And finally, there’s manicule from the Latin manicula. If you haven't noticed, manicula means “little hand.” This symbol is handy! It’s used to point out important information in the text. 

Sometimes it was digitally used in video games like the Final Fantasy series called a "cursor". The finger cursor was also used in other Square Enix properties.

Interrobang ‽

The interrobang is the marriage of two existing punctuation marks—the exclamation point and the question mark. Its meaning also reflects the union of these two symbols. With the question mark comes incredulity, doubt, and wonder. The exclamation point indicates surprise, amazement, and intense emotion. The interrobang is one of the most useful of all rare punctuation marks. 

Why hasn’t it caught on yet‽

Irony Punctuation ⸮

The Irony is a figure of speech used to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. Some people have a hard time understanding it, especially if it’s subtle. Because sarcasm is hard to convey in short IMs, tweets, or Facebook posts, the irony mark could be just the solution—sarcasm in one character. Oh, the irony ⸮

Lozenge ◊ 

Often referred to as a diamond – is a form of rhombus. The lozenge, if used in a text, usually serves as a bullet point, but it has evolved into a more versatile symbol.

Reference Mark

“Reference mark” is the all-encompassing term for the various symbols that indicate additional information in a footnote, endnote, bibliography, etc. Mostly seen the dagger (†) and double dagger (‡) but also an asterisk. (*)

Tie ⁀

The tie is a symbol in the shape of an arc similar to a large breve, used in Greek, phonetic alphabets, and Z notation. It can be used between two characters with spacing as punctuation, non-spacing as a diacritic, or (underneath) as a proofreading mark. It can be above or below, and reversed. Its forms are called tiedouble breveenotikon or papyrological hyphenligature tie, and undertie.

Maybe they can be revived again, who knows.


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