Iran journey

water and shapes: home is were longing ceases   ‘Please tell everyone we are not terrorists. We don’t want to export war. We want to export peace, and culture, beauty, and tolerance between people.’ So spoke the manager of the Den of Espionage, the former American embassy turned museum right in the heart of Tehran. […]

Is this the worst? Well, it’s certainly great semicolon use!

Is this the worst? Well, it’s certainly great semicolon use! Shakespeare’s infamously hopeless tragedy King Lear has lots of great lines when we are shocked and grieved by the incompetence of those supposed to lead us: in the play, hunger for power, greed for gold, personal revenge, and sheer malice and cruelty motivate kings, queens, and […]

Signs of Resistance: Punctuation Politics in Nineteenth-Century Arabic

Signs of Resistance: punctuation politics in nineteenth-century arabic I recently introduced myself to an online editor as ‘a researcher of English literature in the UK, working on punctuation. Originally, this was a project on brackets in Renaissance writing, but I’ve been sucked into so many rabbit hole vortices of curious punctuation that I guess I […]

Nelson Mandela the Dildo Collector? The Importance of Proper Listing

It’s funny how we can get hung up on (seemingly?) small things: I often hear language isn’t logical, and one shouldn’t stand on points, in the sense of punctuation points. And yet, all those school kids getting points, in the sense of marks, off because they forgot one. Point of punctuation, that is. And I […]

Splendid Isolation Book Two: Punctuation and Progress

As we continue social distancing from others and working at home in our pyjamas (welcome to the life of an academic), I’m continuing my punctuation book review with a handy little quarto by Norwegian media researcher Bard Bord Michalsen. Signs of Civilization: How Punctuation Changed History (2019) intrigued me for its provocative title. Apart from the inevitable […]