The Fascinating History Of Quotation Marks

>The Fascinating History Of Quotation Marks | www.eklectica.in
The punctuation mark is a storied character. Its family tree extends all the way back to the second century BC, when its earliest ancestor sprang into being at the ancient Library of Alexandria. The so-called diple, or “double,” was an arrow-shaped character (>) named for the two strokes of the pen required to draw it, and it was just one of a clutch of proofreading marks devised by a librarian named Aristarchus to help edit and clarify the library’s holdings.

More about this in Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks.

Writing and punctuation were fundamentally and permanently changed by the invention of movable type. Time-consuming luxuries such as hand-painted illustrations and elaborate, decorative marks of punctuation fell victim to the economies of scale enabled by this new means of production.

Quotations were rendered in alternative typefaces, enclosed in parentheses, or called out by means of non-typographic methods such as verbs of speaking.

Of late, Britain’s contrarian speech marks seem to be reverting to the once and future norm, and perhaps its ‘technical’ terms will one day do the same. Until that day arrives, take heart that whether you prefer single or double quotation marks, someone, somewhere, will be in agreement with you. The quotation mark, in both its guises, is still in rude health.

Source: Quotation marks: Long and fascinating history includes arrows, diples, and inverted commas




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A Brief History of Kissing in Movies

A Brief History of Kissing in Movies | eklectica.in
Who was your first kiss? Not the actual, physical kiss — that is really none of my business — but a witnessed meeting of two mouths on-screen? Was it the smooching pooches in “The Lady and the Tramp,” their lips serendipitously joined by a strand of spaghetti? Jack and Rose in the boiler room of the Titanic? Jack and Ennis in “Brokeback Mountain”? Cher and Nicolas Cage in “Moonstruck”? Or was it an older, more canonical osculation, from the era when a kiss was as far as an on-screen pair were allowed to go, with or without the benefit of clergy? Bogey and Bergman in “Casablanca”? Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious”? Grant and Eva Marie Saint or Grace Kelly or Katharine Hepburn?

Source: A Brief History of Kissing in Movies – NYTimes.com




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The Stimulating History of Coffee

The Stimulating History of Coffee | eklectica.com
You don’t speak Turkish. You don’t speak Finnish. You don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese. None of these languages is remotely related to English. In fact, none of these languages are even in the same language family. Yet you can recognize, within the two quick syllables of kah-vay, ka-vee, and ka-fay, the word you know as coffee.

Source: Coffee cognates: Arabic qahwah, Turkish kahve, and other cross-linguistic borrowings that make this word similar around the world.




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The Invention of Sliced Bread

The Invention of Sliced Bread | eklectica.in
Throughout most of history, we either baked the bread ourselves, or bought it from bakers in giant, solid loaves — until one man revolutionized the way we consumed it.

On the surface, sliced bread seems pretty simple. But it didn’t come easily: it’s an invention that endured tremendous hardships, tragedy, and years of innovation before hitting the shelves in the 1920s. It even toughed out a government ban during World War II.

And it began with a tenacious inventor named Otto.

Source: The Invention of Sliced Bread

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The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players

The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players | eklectica.in
The first of Sony’s iconic portable cassette tape players went on sale on, July 1st, back in 1979 for $150. As the story goes, Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka got the wheels turning months before when he asked for a way to listen to opera that was more portable than Sony’s existing TC-D5 cassette players. The charge fell to Sony designer Norio Ohga, who built a prototype out of Sony’s Pressman cassette recorder in time for Ibuka’s next flight.

Source: The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players | The Verge




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The Medieval Origin Story of the Balcony

The Medieval Origin Story of the Balcony | eklectica.in
19th-century architect and theorist Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, in his Dictionnaire Raisonné de l’architecture Française du XIe au XVIe Siècle, traces the history of the external balcony to an 11th century anti-siege device: the hourd.

The hourd was a mountable, wooden scaffolding that was installed on the upper walls or towers of a castle when a battle was imminent – sometimes even during battle. As described in the Biennale catalogue, “like later balconies, the hourd boosts exposure to the exterior, balancing safety and engagement with the world below.”

Source: The Medieval Origin Story of the Balcony | History | Smithsonian




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Why Did We Invent Pants?

Why Did We Invent Pants? | eklectica.in
These days, pants are our garment of choice. But for years, our ancestors draped themselves in tunics, robes, and gowns, until someone decided they were tired of having the wind up their skirt. So, what prompted the change? When, exactly, did two-legged trousers become a thing?

“The invention of bifurcated lower body garments is related to the new epoch of horseback riding, mounted warfare and greater mobility,” Beck and Wagner write in a recent paper outlining their findings. They believe the pants, which are straight-fitting and have a wide crotch suitable for straddling, are predecessors to the riding trousers worn today. Along with the pants, the graves also contained horse-riding gear like bridles, whips, and horse tail.

Source: Why Did We Invent Pants? | Mental Floss




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A Short History of the Executioner

A Short History of the Executioner | eklectica.in
The history of the professional executioner is a chronicle of perfecting the choreography of death. It’s a story of exacting skill and the never-ending search for a more efficient means to enact (and contain) the spectacle of death. The professionalization of death—a chilling business—was cultivated for centuries by a profane tribe of men who were denied civil status and ostracized from nearly every aspect of daily life. Forced to live at the margins, the executioner was defined by ambiguities: a pivotal actor in the multipart drama of public killing, an extension of the crown, and yet morally hazy and universally despised.

Source: A Short History of the Executioner—Blog—The Appendix




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D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now – interactive

D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now – interactive | eklectica.in
Peter Macdiarmid has taken photographs of locations in France and England to match with archive images taken before, during and after the D-day landings. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during the second world war took place on 6 June 1944. Operation Overlord was the largest seaborne invasion in military history, with more than 156,000 Allied troops storming the beaches of France

Photography then and now lets you move through time by tapping or clicking on a historic image to reveal the modern view. You can drag or swipe to control the speed of the transformation

Source: D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now – interactive | Art and design | theguardian.com




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The Curious Life and Times of Scarecrows

The Curious Life and Times of Scarecrows | eklectica.in
As the spring season of seeding and planting unfolds with shoots and blooms, it also marks the time of year long ago in Europe, when children scuttled through the plots, sounding wooden clappers and sending flocks of birds off into fluttering clouds of mayhem.

A dearth of children in the wake of the Great Plague, led farmers to use adults to guard their crops, some keeping watch in straw huts as Native Americans did, others stood on wooden lookouts.

But as farms grew larger, in their place human-like effigies rose from the fields and thus was born the scarecrow.

Source: Hay, Man: The Curious Life and Times of Scarecrows – Modern Farmer




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